Abdominal pain in babies is something like a cold, which is common and regularly affecting the baby. Abdominal pain is referred as colic pain or colicky pain. It is very common in infants, children and in some cases even adolescents. In Ayurveda, it is termed as ‘Udarashoola’, where ‘udara’ means abdominal portion and ‘shoola’ means pain or tenderness.
In some children and infants, abdominal pain becomes routine and needs major attention to treat. There could be lot many causes that can create abdominal pain or colic pain in babies.
Causes of Abdominal Pain
There are many causes as said before that can develop abdominal pain. The diagnosis is rarely done as an infant or small child never gives you any sign and symptoms except crying.
There could be infection in the intestines caused by bacterial or any protozoa etc. Almost all infants have underdeveloped digestive system and so the intestines and hence it is quite difficult for them to digest whatever is given to them including mother’s own milk. The colic starts as soon as intestines receive the food material let it be milk only.
Some of the infants then develop diarrhea or watery stools. There could be lactose intolerance in which, the intestines are unable to digest the lactose present in milk. In this case, doctor may advise you to stop the milk and in such case, an alternate to the milk is supplied to the baby or infant.
Other reasons for abdominal pain may include constipation (which is more common in infants and children) are again due to less capacity to digest the food material by baby’s or infant’s intestines. Some infants and babies may produce gas in stomach and so in intestines; that may again lead to develop abdominal colic or pain. In infants, they should not be overfed as it may result in vomiting and gastro-intestinal disturbance.
Less commonly, inguinal hernia, bladder infection, appendicitis and pyloric stenosis may also give raise to abdominal pain.
Symptoms of abdominal pain
Infants do not complain but they just cry and nothing else. It is therefore, quite difficult to diagnose the abdominal pain or colic in infants. Children however can complain about their abdominal disturbance. Many times, abdominal pain or colic is associated either with diarrhea or with constipation and hence, it is assumed in many cases that the baby or infant could be having gastro-intestinal disturbance.
Many times, touching abdomen could be tender and painful so that makes baby cry a lot. Immediately after feeding, the crying of baby may suggest some digestion problem in the form of abdominal pain. All you need to do is to see the doctor if nothing works.
Diagnosing abdominal pain in babies
It is quite difficult to diagnose the abdominal pain in babies as they do not talk and so cannot complain about the pain or colic. Many times, putting hand on abdominal makes them cry a lot indicating that there may be abdominal pain or colic.
In major cases, you cannot diagnose abdominal pain until the baby or infant has diarrhea or constipation. Since antispasmodic drops do not harm in a major manner, they can be given in restricted dosage. But in rare cases, where there are chances of having intestinal obstruction, X-Ray abdomen or scanning and MRI become very helpful tool diagnosing the perfect cause for abdominal pain or colic in infant or in child.
Treatment of abdominal pain in babies
There are some home remedies like giving less than one milliliter of ginger juice and a very little pinch of rock salt. You can also give your baby the holy basil’s juice, which is very effective most of the times. On the other hand, any solid food is to be avoided and in a case, if baby has diarrhea, the extreme care is to be taken that baby does not become dehydrated because this may turn the case serious. In case of constipation, a doctor may put anal-suppository to the child or infant and if this does not work, the glycerin is injected through anus into the intestines that can take out the hardened stools.