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Severe abdominal pain caused by spasm, obstruction, or distention of any of the hollow viscera, such as the intestines. Often a condition of early infancy, colic is marked by chronic irritability and crying.
Persons most commonly affected: Several weeks of age to 3 to 4 months of age in both sexes. Affects 10-20% of all infants. It is more common in boys than in girls and most common in a family's first child. Symptoms of colic usually appear when a baby is 14-21 days old, reach a peak at the age of three months, and disappear within the next eight weeks.
Organ or part of body involved: Stomach
Symptoms and indications: Episodes of irritability, loud crying, and what appears to be abdominal pain with the legs drawn up and the abdomen feeling rigid. An attack of colic usually begins suddenly, often after a feeding. The cry is loud and continuous. The spells last from one to four hours and the baby's face often gets flushed or red. The belly is sometimes distended or prominent; the legs alternate between flexed and extended straight out; the feet are often cold and the hands clenched. The episodes, while they can occur at any time of the day or night, typically begin in the late afternoon or early evening.
Causes and risk factors: No one is really sure, but there are a few suspected causes, such as intestinal gas, food sensitivity or allergy, or an immature nervous system. This last idea speculates that Baby
Prevention: Most cases of colic are not preventable. Avoiding related factors, when possible, may help. For example, changing the way the baby is held when fed, changing the type of formula (if there's a cow's milkallergy), or other interventions may be beneficial in some cases. If your baby has colic, these measures may help you and your child find some relief : Lay your baby tummy-down on your knees or arms and sway your baby gently and slowly; rock, cuddle or walk your baby. Avoid fast, jiggling movements; put your baby in an infant swing; or give your baby a warm bath or lay him or her tummy-down on a warm water bottle.