(NaturalNews) If nothing you do seems to calm your baby`s chronic crying, you may have a serious case of colic on your hands. But a new study from the University of Texas is trying to get to the "gut" of the colic cause. The study says gut bacteria may be responsible for chronic crying.
While colic is a fairly normal thing for many babies - approximately 25 percent of all babies are affected by it - its normalcy is no consolation to its victims. Its effects are no picnic for the baby, nor for the nerves of anyone within earshot of the little one`s tirade.
Worst of all? Virtually nothing`s able to quell the crying, not even medicinal products sold over-the-counter or by prescription.
The cause of colic has confounded doctors for years. Theories about its cause abound; some suggesting it`s simply a case of overt gastrointestinal discomfort, while others say colicky babies are nothing more than angry babies dressed in sheep`s clothing (i.e. Colic doesn`t exist).
However, the problem may have its roots in the baby`s stomach.
All of us are crawling with bacteria. It sound gross, but the bacteria we breed are essential to our survival, particularly the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. And according to the aforementioned University of Texas scientists, the more bacteria a baby has, the better off he or she is in avoiding colic - provided it`s the right kind of bacteria.
When a team of researchers from the U of T`s School of Medicine analyzed the gut bacteria of 36 babies, 18 of which had colic
, they found that the colicky babies were more likely to have less variegated bacteria in general and a more specific bacterium called klebsiella.
Klebsiella is a common intestinal bacterium that`s found in about 40 percent of all human and animal intestinal tracts.
Inside of the intestinal wall, the klebsiella bacterium typically does its normal thing, like maintaining proper colon health
. If it escapes the intestines, though, it can become an extremely deadly pathogen - 90 percent of people infected with it wind up dead if left untreated. And while it`s a typically benign bacterium, it can cause various diseases when under certain conditions.
It is this bacterium that researchers believe may be the cause of colic, as it seems to signal an inflammatory reaction within a baby`s intestinal tract similar to those seen in adults with irritable bowel syndrome.
The study is published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
The question everyone wants answered, of course, is not how colic is caused but rather how parents can treat it. But just as theories abound as to its cause, so too do its treatments.
Doctors often prescribe infant formulas, but no one formula has proven to be much of an elixir. Natural treatments abound as well, like anise seeds, highly heralded for their ability to settle an unsettled stomach.
Researchers believe the answer may lie in probiotics, which are microorganisms found primarily in yogurt that helps promote "good" bacteria
within the intestine. You can learn more about probiotics and all they have to offer in some of the past postings here on Natural News.
The University of Texas researchers plan on probiotic testing on colicky conditions in future analysis, but not before probiotics are first tested on humans with digestive disorders that may or may not involve the klebsiella bacterium.
About the author
Frank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health.
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