Basic science and pathophysiology


  • Colic is very common affecting 10-30% of infants33.
  • Both sexes are affected equally.
  • Feeding strategy does not appear to affect incidence.
  • Preterm infants and those small for gestational age appear to be at increased risk34.

Crying baby


  • Research has yet to identify the underlying cause.
  • Suggested aetiologies include:
    • Abnormal gastrointestinal motility and pain signals from sensitised pathways in the gut viscera35
    • Inadequate amount of lactobacilli and increased concentration of coliforms within the gut flora36
    • Behavioural issues such as family tension, parental anxiety or inadequate parent-infant interaction37

Image caption: Lactobacilli