There may be hope for colic

November 25, 2009 5:27:07 PM PST
As you look forward to your Thanksgiving meal, consider for a moment tiny babies with some real gastro-intestinal problems -- newborns with colic. An estimated 15 percent of newborns have it. They draw their legs up in pain and can scream for hours. But a Houston study may provide some help for parents. Mother Sarah Kushner has tried medicines, rocking and spending her days consoling her colicky son Vincent.

"You feel really helpless and you feel like your baby's in pain," Kushner said. "That's really stressful as a mom because you're looking at them and feeling like you can't help them."

Desperate parents have searched for answers for centuries. But what if something as simple as pro-biotic drops could help soothe the colicky baby? In a UT Houston study, colicky babies like Vincent were given pro-biotic drops. Vincent took BioGaia drops.

Pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Marc Rhoads, the UT study author, explained, "(They provide) the bacteria that we think may help colic, which is the lactobacillus reuteri."

Rhoads says only BioGaia drops have the lactobacillus reuteri bacteria for colic. He says they found colicky babies have fewer good bacteria in the gut, some unusual bad bacteria and lots of pain-causing inflammation.

"The colic babies cried four hours a day. One baby cried 10 hours," said Dr. Rhoads. "The control babies cried one hour a day."

Two weeks after Kushner began the pro-biotic drops, she says Vincent changed.

She said, "We're sitting and eating dinner and we realize, 'Oh my gosh! We're eating dinner.' We couldn't do that before!"

Now that he isn't screaming, the family can finally appreciate Vincent's sweet personality. UT researchers hope his relief will spell relief for thousands more like him.

Dr. Rhoads says it's too soon for researchers to recommend pro-biotic drops for colic. But if parents are desperate, he says it's safe to try them. Rhoads says babies can take five BioGaia drops a day, but be sure to talk to your doctor first.


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