WHICH ARE THE CAUSES OF INFANT COLIC?

Infant colic is a condition well known by health professionals since many years and over time experts have developed theories about its etiology, but in many cases these theories have not been linked directly as causes for this problem.

Many studies have attempted to determine possible causes for colic occurrence in infants and the most important are:

  • PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL CAUSES: The stress situation caused by the constant crying or improper handling of the baby by inexperienced parents, can be one of the causes for the appearance of infant colic. It is important to mention that the way the baby is treated can be distinct according to cultural aspects.
  • DIETARY CAUSES: The colic onset may be due to the ingested milk type, the type of diet followed by the mother during breast feed or even some type of food allergy. The only one of these hypotheses that has been proven is food allergies, but this situation is not common and can lead to severe complications and must be diagnosed using specific testing.
  • NEUROLOGICAL CAUSES: It’s attributed to the immature nervous system of the newborn as the cause of colic episodes, also suggesting that the baby's crying is a completely natural process, even if it’s duration and intensity can be excessive.lactose_intolerance_diagram

Finally, recent scientific studies have established that the cause of infant colic, in the majority of cases, has a gastrointestinal origin and is mainly due to the immaturity of the digestive tract in the newborn, which affects the absorption of nutrients. A common situation is related to a low endogenous production of lactase enzyme that prevents optimal hydrolyzing of all lactose. A supplementation with lactase enzyme helps to improve the hydrolysis process of lactose and can correct the cause of infant colic.