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Colic: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Colic is also referred to as abdominal pain in continuously crying infants below the age of 3 months.

How is the treatment done?

Colic pain usually occurs in infants that are very young, about 6 weeks old and is usually associated with long episodes of crying. The baby keeps crying endlessly and parents usually cannot figure out the reason why such a thing is happening to the child. At the peak of the sixth week, the crying becomes largely uncontrollable and parents throw themselves in a helpless state. Parents usually take their children to a doctor to undermine the reason behind the terrible crying bouts and are usually given simple remedies for the time being. Children may start crying even more persistently after evening times, throwing parents into anxiety zones.

As soon as you take your child to a doctor, the first thing they do to alleviate his condition would be to look into his physical details. These include examining his body parts, a quick temperature check, looking out for any possible rashes on the body, listening to vital functionalities of the body parts, sensing his reactions to light, touch and hearing, measuring his height and weight and making note of these factors. Usually after an overall check-up, your doctor must be able to guide with proper medication and as part of the process, you wouldn’t need complex tests and lab x-rays to be conducted.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Doctors would suggest simple help that could be achieved at home for the baby by just comforting it, giving it a warm bath, gently massaging its abdominal area, taking it for a light walk by seating it in a stroller, comforting it by rubbing your arms gently around its abdominal area etc. These gentle messages and movements around its abdominal area help create a soothing effect and provide relief to a large extent. Once it’s relieved of the colic pain, it will stop crying and will sleep in peace for a long period of time. Colic drops are effectively administered at regular intervals to relieve the pain.

The onset of colic usually takes place in the sixth week. So normally mothers would be breast feeding their young ones at this stage. The onset of colic to a large extent also depends on the food intake of its mother. Generally vegetables such as cabbage and onions are pretty hard on the baby’s digestive system and may cause irritability. So, avoiding such vegetables along with frequent consumption of coffee/tea can avoid this situation to a certain extent. Some mothers feed their babies with formula milk, which could also be a reason for the cause of colic in babies. So, doctors would recommend intake of hydrolysate formula in place of the earlier formula milk. The hydrolysate formula is known to contain good amounts of protein is small chunks, easily digestible by infants and therefore can provide relief in such situations.

Children usually get relieved of colic pain as they grow older and usually by 3 or 4 months they do not experience colic pain of any form. While handling babies with colic pain, parents need to keep calm and understand that it’s just a temporary scenario and would reduce with time. Handling the baby with ease and maintaining one’s calm will help alleviate the baby’s pain to a large extent.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Children in the infancy stage, around 3 or 4 weeks old, who have been crying continuously and are unable to sleep due to colic pain should seek remedial treatment from doctors. If pain persists after simple massaging or rubbing in the abdominal area, it is good to change the diet course for the mother as well as the child, in case of breastfed babies. In any case, it is best to consult a doctor before proceeding with dietary changes for your infant.

Are there any side effects?

Infants who aren’t crying continuously, but are doing so occasionally when they require care and seek their mother’s attention shouldn’t be mistaken for a colic condition. Children tend to cry more when they are at the infancy stage and its best to observe their movements before deciding on their ailments.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Generally colic drops are used to quickly bring down colic pain in infants. Though they are not known to have any serious side effects on infants, parents should look out for symptoms of an allergic reaction on the infant’s body. Reactions such as rashes or skin infections could be some of the side effects. If the allergy is found in the neck or the face region, it may show up as a swelling at times. The child may even develop difficulty in breathing in rare cases. Therefore, it’s good to discuss these side effects with your doctor before administering it to your baby.

How long does it take to recover?

There are no specific after treatment care that should be followed once the colic pain is relieved. Generally small infants tend to develop their pain in their infancy and as they grow older, the problem fails to recur. Majority of the infants depend on their mother’s feed at that stage and hence avoiding irritating foods such as onions and cabbages will prevent the pain from recurring. Intake of low dairy products during the colic phase will also avoid pain and consumption of eggs and wheat can provide help to a certain extent. Following proper food guidelines by the mother is a must.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The first and foremost thing to know about colic is that it’s only a temporary phase and as the infant grows into five or six months, the phase of colic just diminishes day by day. Babies experience colic at the height of their sixth week but that’s exactly when appropriate care needs to be taken. Once the child is over 3 or 4 months of age, this condition almost vanishes, leaving a sigh of relief for the parents.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Colic drops, the easiest way to cure colic pain is available at all pharmaceutical shops at prices as low as 80 to 100 for a 30 ml bottle. They are available in different variants and the prescribed drops by the doctor should be used.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There is no guarantee that a child which has developed colic at the moment is not going to develop the same pain a few days later. The mother’s diet is a big deciding factor. As time passes and the child grows older, the pain itself vanishes from the baby’s abdomen. Colic drops do provide relief to a large extent and help the baby to have a peaceful sleep for a long period.

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