by Dr. Randy
Colic or reflux is characterized by prolonged crying, spitting up after feeding, arching the back, rumbling tummy, and expulsion of gas. Symptoms tend to be worse in the evening, after eating, and when lying down. Often these symptoms begin two to three weeks after birth and can persist for several months or sometimes even longer. The cause is usually a stressed digestive tract that has a hard time moving food through. When digestion is weakened, then food tends to get stuck or move back up into the esophagus. Your pediatrician may want to prescribe antacids or acid blockers, but these drugs are not especially effective and some babies have obvious side effects.
Here are some simple measures you can take to solve these bothersome symptoms.
- Avoid foods in your diet that pass through breast milk and cause or aggravate your baby’s symptoms. Some foods can trigger allergic reactions in your baby. Other foods can be irritants.
Cabbage family foods (broccoli)
Onions and garlic
- Give your baby a probiotic supplement that includes bifidus and lactobacillus species, at least 10-20 billion CFU. These healthy bacteria help digest food and decrease irritation in the small intestine lining. These can be mixed into some expressed breast milk.
- Chinese herbal formulas Grow and Thrive and Tummy Tamer by Chinese Medicine Works (available through any health care provider from KanHerb.com by prescription or online through several sources). These two formulas strengthen digestive function, soothe the lining of the digestive tract and promote healing of the small intestine lining.
- Glutamine powder mixed with breast milk (or formula) 1,500 mg. The amino acid glutamine heals the small intestine lining.
- Keep your baby close. Wearing your baby in a sling or front pack and wrapping your baby snuggly in a baby blanket (swaddling) are techniques that have been shown to relieve colic and crying. Prop your baby upright to allow gravity to help move milk through your baby’s digestive tract.
- Try using homeopathic Colocynth, especially if your baby is soothed by pressure on her belly. Just put one pellet of a 6, 12, or 30 strength inside your baby’s cheek as a dose. Other homeopathic medicines may be appropriately prescribed on the basis of differing and specific symptoms.