Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco recently announced study results showing that women who suffer from migraines are more than twice as likely to have a colic-y baby than those without migraines.
I was not surprised, though, as both colic and migraines can be the result of food and chemical sensitivities and can often be controlled by dietary strategies. It’s common to see these kinds of hypersensitivity-triggered inflammatory reactions manifesting up and down a family tree in all sorts of ways. In my own family tree we see IBD, migraines, Crohn’s, hives, fibromyalgia, chronic constipation, MS and other auto-imune disorders, as well as colic and other GERD/acid reflux issues. The predisposition toward being hypersensitive can most definitely be a genetic trait, but it can often be managed pretty successfully with the right strategies.
I recently gave a teleseminar addressing these issues and more — you can listen to it here:
In a case of flawed research and reasoning, Parents magazine noted:
Colic, or excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant, has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems—presumably caused by something the baby ate. However, despite more than 50 years of research, no definitive link has been proven between infant colic and gastrointestinal problems. Babies who are fed solely breast milk are as likely to have colic as those fed formula, and giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.
The disputes to this argument include:
a) We know allergens can be transmitted through mother’s milk. Often simply adjusting the nursing mother’s diet can help clear up problems the baby is having, but the trick is to figure out what is causing the problems.
b) We know that sensitivities vary from person to person. We can not assume that all babies can tolerate all formulas or all breast milk just because some can. Obviously, babies with colic are having problems.
c) We know that hypersensitivity reactions can include gastro-intestinal issues like diarrhea or constipation, but they can also manifest as headaches, body aches, a feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin, and a myriad of other symptoms. Babies can’t tell us much about what is bothering them, and it can be difficult or impossible to guess correctly.
d) We also know that Type IV hypersensitivity reactions can be dose-dependent as well as delayed by up to four days, which makes finding the dietary link incredibly difficult without professional help.
Having survived a colic baby – and having been one myself – and looking at the hypersensitivity trail in my own family as well as seeing in my clinical practice as a naturopathic doctor how dietary adjustments can make these symptoms go away, it seems pretty clear to me that colic, like migraines, can have dietary links.
Have you had a baby who suffered from colic, and if so, do you see any evidence of hypersensitivity reactions in your own family tree? Share your story in the Comments below.