Exhausted Parents Give A Cheer: Doctors May Have Found The Cause Of Colic

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Colic. It’s every parent’s worst fear. It’s like the an awful icing on the worst cake ever. New parents are already exhausted and overwhelmed. Colic adds a wonderful layer of screaming to that whole mess.

I have to admit, I didn’t have a colicky baby. I consider myself extremely lucky in that regard. I do remember pacing up and down the hallway for hours on end when my little one didn’t want to sleep though. I remember laying in bed, feeling physically ill when she started crying, because all I wanted was a few minutes of sleep and I knew that it wasn’t going to happen for another hour. Motherhood was tiring enough. Adding a child who cried uncontrollably for hours a day would have been almost unimaginable.

So why am I bringing up some parent’s worst nightmares or memories? Because there’s good news! Doctors and researchers may have found the cause of colic. There’s still debate on how to treat it, but figuring out the cause is definitely the first step in helping these new parents cope with their screaming little ones.

Research has shown that a common bacteria, Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori), could be behind the mystery crying. This bacteria, which is known to cause gastric ulcers, seems to show up quiet a bit in infants colic. 85% of the test group of colicky babies, to be exact. On the other hand, only 7% of babies without colic were found to have the bacteria in their stomachs. Those are some pretty convincing statistics.

So what does this mean for parents? Doctors are still debating the use of probiotics to treat the bacterial imbalance for infants. There will be more research to determine if this particular study can be duplicated. There’s obviously more to do.

But… and this is a pretty big but… there’s a reason. There’s an explanation for the fact that these babies are crying nonstop. For new parents, who feel like they can do nothing right, they get to know that the incessant crying isn’t because of something they’ve done wrong. It’s a medical issue. And honestly, I think that piece of mind might be worth a lot to new moms and dads.

So next time you hear a tired new mom fretting over the crying that just won’t stop, you may not be able to fix it all, but you can tell her, “It’s not your fault.” Just knowing that could be pretty comforting.

So dear Mommyish commenters, did your little ones have colic? How did you make it through? Would you feel better knowing it’s an intestinal bacteria?

(Photo: lisalucia/Shutterstock)