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Definition of Colic

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Colic: A cause of crampy abdominal pain in early infancy. Colic is a common condition, occurring in about 1 in 10 babies. An infant with colic is irritable, cries, and often has a rigid abdomen and draws up its legs. Overfeeding, undiluted juices, food allergies, and stress can aggravate colic. Colic usually lasts from early infancy to the third or fourth month of age. Treatment can include dietary changes, carefully measured feedings, and extra burping. Parents should not assume that new abdominal pain and loud crying in their baby are colic. It is important for the baby to be seen by a physician to rule out more serious conditions.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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