Hedra uncovered research that points to a probiotic as a promising treatment for infant colic:
Okay, so my kids are too old now to benefit much from this (at least in this form). But having learned (the hard way, with more than a year of hospital visits) that probiotics can help with GI troubles if you get the right one, I'm passing on this info.
It looks like Lactobacillus reuteri, at least one particular strain, stops colic in its tracks. QUICKLY. We're talking just a few days to see a change, and a week to see dramatic change.
We've all heard of using mylecon/simethicone (gas drops) for colic. And yes, that helps for some kids. Gripe water also helps for some kids. I haven't seen research on how many kids are helped by gripe water, or if it changes things for them in the long run (vs just treating each instance). According to this research, gas drops help about 7% of infants. (That matches my experience pretty closely. 1 in 10 or so.)
But according to this study, there's a probiotic drop that helps for 95% of kids. Holy MOLY! The average crying time dropped to 51 minutes per day, total, from three or more hours. Okay, I'll take that!
I hunted around and tracked down the product they used (which isn't identified in the study, true to good research form): Infacol.
It isn't available in the US yet, but it can be ordered from the following site: /www.westons.com/acatalog/Online-Catalogue-INF181E.html. [NOTE: Both the probiotic drops AND traditional simethicone drops are sold under the brand name Infacol. Be sure you buy the probiotic drops. — Ed.]
To give the company that makes it points, they have NOT been trumpeting the results of the study from the rooftops. Yet, anyway! LOL! But I'm going to, since I think this is immensely valuable as a tool, and colic (even mild colic) is such an issue for parents. Heck, this probiotic is also shown to do a lot of other good things, so even if you think it won't work, it is still a nice positive boost for other GI functions (including immune function).
My second son was so affected by his GI troubles that not only did he have huge behavioral issues, but he also lost growth velocity so severely that he dropped five standard deviations below his expected genetic range (using the gold standard for growth expectation, mid-parental height averaging). He started doing catch-up growth with
probiotic therapy (plain L. acidophilus, one specific strain). It turned out to be carbohydrate intolerances setting everything off. I learned, however, that if you can't figure out the problem, at least you can try using probiotics to help stop it from being a pain! Literally.
Note that each strain is different. This one works incredibly well for a majority of children. Others might work better for some kids. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, knowing the desperation for a solution to colic that doesn't involve drugs or duct tape, I knew I had to pass this on.