Friday, May 04, 2007

Colic Solved?

There is an interview with Bryan Vartabedian, M.D., in the newest issue of Wondertime magazine where he talks about colic and his new book, Colic Solved.

He believes that colic is a "wastebasket term that's used when we can't explain what's going on inside a baby."

He says, "Initially, I started out to write a book that tells parents about gastroesophageal reflux and milk protein allergies. But it became evident that parents of kids who have GERD or milk protein allergy are very often perceived as having colic.

The 'solved' part of it discusses the changes that have occurred over the past 50 years since colic was first described. What was once a mysterious condition can, in many cases, be explained."

Vartabedian goes on to say, " my practice, between acid reflux disease and milk protein allergy, probably 60 percent of the kids I evaluate for inexplicable irritability are ultimately found to have one of those two problems."

Vartabedian makes sure to point out that not all babies diagnosed with colic have an allergy or GERD: "There are adults who are cranky at the end of the day, or are bothered by lights and sounds. But we don't give babies the same latitude. We expect them all to be, you know, placid, cherubic little creatures what just do exactly what we want them to do. Expectations are very important in this regard."

As someone whose child was diagnosed with colic and was later found to have a milk protein allergy, I found this article to be a very interesting read. It is a long interview, but I'd recommend reading it when you have a few minutes. I'd love to hear what other parents whose babies were diagnosed with colic think about his findings.


  1. I just settled in with my "Wondertime" last night in bed, and haven't gotten to that article yet (yes, I read it front to back...) PS, I'll email your questions tonight.

  2. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. I think the online and print interviews are slightly different, but the main points are the same. I love "Wondertime."

    Thanks for the questions! I'll get started today. :)

  3. Sarah, sorry for the off topic comment. Not sure how to send you a message offline.... I'm inviting all food allergy bloggers and friends to contribute your own personal stories on dealing with food allergies... how you found out that you and/or your child has a food allergy, how you manage your food allergy, some of the things you are doing for Food Allergy Week, and what you want people to know about food allergies. We will post a collection of links to your posts throughout the week. Game?

    Alright, so here's what to do:
    1) Visit
    2) Let me know you want to join by leaving a comment on today's post (so I can post a link to you!)
    3) Spread the word: link to the CMT Community page and/or display our Food Allergy Week banner and/or tell all your pals!
    4) Add a post on your blog for Food Allergy Week
    5) Stop by our Community page during the week to see your post and read other people's stories.

    Hope you'll join us in spreading the word about food allergies...


  4. I'm in, Ria! I wrote back on your site as well.

  5. Hi Sarah - I just camea across your blog. I will be reading that article when I have a little time. I have always thought what would have become of my daughter had I not pushed her docs - she had severe GERD (still does) and is allergic to dairy.

    I will be posting for Check My Tag next week.

  6. Hi, Sue! What beautiful girls! I look forward to reading your post next week. I haven't decided what I'm writing about yet!

  7. Very interesting. Apparently this was my problem as a child. Nobody knew what was going on way back then though. Thankfully, I grew out of the full blown allergy when I was about 7.

    Thanks for your comments- looking forward to reading your "interview"

  8. "it became evident that parents of kids who have GERD or milk protein allergy are very often perceived as having colic"

    The parents are perceived as having colic! Well, maybe so - if my babies had milk protein allergies, I probably would have developed colic.

    I think a distinction has to be made between digestive disorders (with pain-related crying) and the kind of colic that Bub had - just a constant disposition toward fussiness. In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Marc Weissbluth claims that colic (or, as he calls it, extreme fussiness) has to do with brain development and nothing to do with digestion at all. That rang true for me, because Bub's fussiness never seemed at all related to his feedings.

  9. Bubandpie: Hee. Parental colic.
    I agree that some babies just have a fussy disposition. In our case, though, K. was dismissed as just being fussy, when in fact she was alergic to the milk products I was eating. I think pediatricians should check out all the options just to make sure.

  10. You know...I am not a Dr, but I would venture to say that the "disposition to fussiness" can indeed be linked to digestion issues. When we discovered my daughter's food allergies at age 3, I learned that there are as many neurotransmitters in your gut as in your brain. The whole "Brain-gut connection" thing. So eventhough kids may not seem like they have a direct correlation of fussiness to food in timing, the food could very well be irritating the gut and therefore messing with the chemistry of neurotransmitters. We saw a HUGE change in our daughter's behavior after removing her food allergens and giving her a nutritional supplemnt of amino acids designed to support the neurotransmitters. It was amazing!!!

  11. Jennifer - what interesting points! I know that when K. accidentally eats dairy, it really affects her personality.