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Is it Colic ?

baby with colic

Our 2 week old son was so fussy last week that we took him to a walk-in clinic. In less than 10 minutes the doctor diagnosed him with colic. How does he know my son has colic? What do you recommend for colic?

I’d first recommend seeing real doctor! Colic cannot be diagnosed in single office visit. Colic is a “diagnosis of exclusion”. Meaning a child can only be diagnosed with colic once all other reasonable diagnosis have been excluded. Colic is a true entity recognized across the world in multiple cultures. The cause is unknown. The name “colic” comes from the belief the pain originates in the colon. Typical cases of colic begin at 3 to 4 weeks and last until 3 to 4 months. Colic is defined as more than 3 hours of unexplained crying per day. Despite their fussiness, children with colic grow well.

I see fussy babies every day in my practice and only rarely do I diagnose colic. Is your son growing appropriately? Underfeeding and overfeeding are major causes of infant fussiness. Children should regain their birthweight by 2 weeks old and then gain 0.5 to 1.0 ounces at day (15 to 30 grams). Formula or milk intolerance is also a common cause of fussiness at your son’s age. Is he formula fed? If he is breastfed, have you tried restricting cow’s milk in your diet. The most common treatable cause of infant fussiness is spitting up or Gastro-esphogeal reflux. See GERD-spitting up for more information.

This case has me really fire up. You need to take him to his regular primary care doctor to be evaluated. Colic should not be diagnosis on a single 10 minute visit. Good luck and let me know how he does.


see colic


Written October 2012 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






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