Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cause of infant colic? PPIs won't help.

Helicobacter pylori infection was strongly associated with infantile colic in a study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Astonishingly, this is the first study to investigate the role of H pylori in infantile colic. The cause of infantile colic remains unknown, despite being relatively common. Its prevalence ranges from 5% to 40%, depending on estimates.

Other potential causes of distress, including central nervous system abnormalities, broken bones or other trauma, infections, foreign bodies in the eye, and gastrointestinal problems other than colic, were ruled out in the study subjects.

Of the colicky infants, 81.8% tested positive for H pylori, and 18.2% tested negative. Among the infants without colic, only 23.3% tested positive for H pylori, and 76.7% tested negative.

Bonnie: Now that H pylori has finally been implicated as a possible factor for infantile colic, there must be a change in the blase nature of prescribing PPIs (reflux meds) to infants. PPIs do NOTHING for H pylori. In fact, because it neutralizes stomach acid, it makes H pylori worse. 

The standard medical therapy to eradicate H pylori is antibiotics. This can be devastating to infants, so the authors of this study allude to research showing that probiotics are helpful to treat H pylori. If your infant tests positive for H pylori, do everything possible to eradicate it first without antibiotics. Use antibiotics as the last resort. Before taking them, have your doctor culture the H pylori against several antibiotics to make sure one is effective. Many strains of H pylori are now antibiotic-resistant.

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