Thursday, January 16th, 2014
A new study of the use of probiotics, or “good bacteria” in infants has revealed a possible correlation with lower gastrointestinal discomfort and the pattern of crying and fussiness known as colic. More from LiveScience:
In the study, newborns that received a daily dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri had fewer episodes of inconsolable crying (colic), constipation and regurgitation (reflux) at age three months compared to newborns given a placebo.
Use of probiotics also had benefits in terms of reducing health care expenses, such as money spent on emergency department visits, or money lost when parents took time off work. On average, families with infants that took probiotics saved about $119 per child, the researchers said.
However, more research is needed to confirm the findings before it can be recommended for newborns, experts say. Currently, doctors do not recommend that probiotics be used routinely in infants, said Dr. William Muinos, co-director of the gastroenterology department at Miami Children’s Hospital, who was not involved with the study.
And although the treatment was not related to any harmful events in the current study, use of probiotics could potentially pose risks to newborns, Muinos said. For example, the lining of a newborn’s intestinal tract is less mature, and more porous, than that of an older child, which could cause some bacteria to seep into the blood stream, Muinos said. This risk will need to be evaluated in future studies, Muinos said.
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Image: Peacefully sleeping infant, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Babies who are diagnosed with “colic,” a general term for unusually long bouts of uncontrollable crying, may be more likely to be diagnosed with migraine headaches later in life. In fact, according to a new study conducted in France, the colic behavior may actually be an early form of migraines. More from The Huffington Post:
In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons.
The association was specific for migraines — there was no link between typical, less severe tension headaches and the likelihood of experiencing colic as an infant.
The study adds to a growing body of research linking infant colic with migraines. For instance, a study presented last year at American Academy of Neurology meeting found that women who had migraines were about twice as likely as those without migraines to have babies with colic. (Migraines can run in families.)
The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.
However, the study found only an association, and cannot prove that infant colic is an early sign of migraine headaches. And even if this were true, researchers don’t know if colicky babies are experiencing head pain or some other type of discomfort.
Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
Women who suffer from migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic–the phenomenon in which newborns have extended bouts of excessive, inconsolable crying–than women who do not have the headaches, a new study has found.
Newswise reports on the study, which was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco:
The work raises the question of whether colic may be an early symptom of migraine and therefore whether reducing stimulation may help just as reducing light and noise can alleviate migraine pain. That is significant because excessive crying is one of the most common triggers for shaken baby syndrome, which can cause death, brain damage and severe disability.
“If we can understand what is making the babies cry, we may be able to protect them from this very dangerous outcome,” said Amy Gelfand, MD, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF….
Colic, or excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant, has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems—presumably caused by something the baby ate. However, despite more than 50 years of research, no definitive link has been proven between infant colic and gastrointestinal problems. Babies who are fed solely breast milk are as likely to have colic as those fed formula, and giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.
Image: Pregnant woman with a headache, via Shutterstock.
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