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 both can often be relieved by targeted dietary and lifestyle 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.
In an example of how reliance on formal research studies can lead us astray, CBS News noted:
Previous research suggests gastrointestinal problems – like from something the baby ate – might cause colic, the condition marked by excessive crying in an unhealthy child. But researchers have been trying to prove that link for more than 50 years, without much luck.
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 cannot assume that all babies can tolerate all formulas or all breast milk just because some can. Obviously, babies with colic are having gut 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 traditional naturopath how targeted dietary adjustments can make these symptoms go away, it has become increasingly clear to me that colic, like migraines, can have dietary links.
If you’re ready to stop guessing and instead learn which foods won’t cause you pain, then we should talk! Book a complimentary naturopathic health assessment with me today!