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J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(6):206-9.

Infantile colic: practicalities of management, including dietary aspects.

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  • 1Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.


The incidence of infantile colic is between 5-20%. It occurs equally in breast- and bottle-fed infants, and in both sexes. The aetiology is unknown. The elimination of cow's milk protein and using extensively hydrolysed protein formula have been shown to be effective treatments for infantile colic. Partially hydrolysed milk has also been shown to be helpful and can be a useful option in the community when a cow's milk allergy is not considered to be an underlining cause of the colic. If symptoms persist the situation should be reassessed, as further investigations and treatment may be necessary. Certain behavioural interventions, such as reassurance, making changes to the parents' responsiveness to the infant, using motion/sound to calm the infant and reducing stimuli to the infant have also been shown to be effective treatments for infantile colic. There is some evidence to suggest that the use of prebiotic oligosaccharides, to restore normal healthy gut flora, can be beneficial. Soya milk is not recommended as a treatment.

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