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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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colic
Posted by: Jennifer
Date: November 7, 2002 7:13 PM

This is our second time around with an infant with unexplainable, extreme gas. It has now been 11 months and he has been in discomfort since he was 2 days old. Now that he is crawling he is able to manage his gas better. His nightimes are horrendous. Getting him dressed/changing him is uncomfortable for him, too. At night, he rolls around every hour or so, wimpering in pain or simply crying, trying to get comfortable and eventually falling asleep exhausted, but then being woken up within 2 hours with his spasms that shake him awake. We were told that he would grow out of this by 3, 6, or 9 months, but he hasn't/. He had an upper GI done to rule out reflux, and an exam with the pediatric gastric specialists at Children's Hospital didn't fare well, as I feel they mainly concentrate their focus on reflux issues. Could low stomach acid be a culprit? We are giving him papaya enzymes but they don't seem to help. Food allergies are unlikely; he was very late to start on solids due to constipation whenever we gave him the smallest amount of food. He is thriving on my milk still, and I did try the "Nursing mom's diets" to help with any hidden allergy, to no avail. Our pediatrician can't help us further. We've tried homeopathy, osteopathy, and I'm still looking for anwers.

RE: colic
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: November 11, 2002 2:08 AM

There are two possible sources of gas in the human intestinal tract. Either it is swallowed or it is produced by intestinal bacteria. If the former, your docs are right - you will have to wait for him to grow out of it. If the later, the gas should be at least partially hydrogen sulfide and smell rather foul. If that is the case, just as when this occurs in adults, the gut is not working to regulate the intestinal flora. He is probably not old enough to have seen a dentist and have mercury poisoning (to account for the gut dysfunction), so it is a matter of waiting for his gut to mature. In the meantime the enzymes are a good idea, but even more important would be regular intake of a high quality probiotic - Lactobacillus, Bifidus, etc. This will tend to normalize his gut flora and this should decrease gas production.



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