Acupuncture therapy can successfully treat colic in babies

Study: Doctors examine the effects of acupuncture on colic
If babies have colic, it can be very difficult for parents to calm them down. Those affected are often at a loss and then seek help from experts. Researchers have now found that acupuncture appears to help treat babies with colic.

Scientists from Lund University in Sweden found in an investigation that acupuncture treatment could help reduce colic in babies. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Acupuncture in Medicine".

What are colic?
Colic is a normal stage in newborns. They are often referred to as three-month colic because they usually start at the age of two to four weeks and end at the age of three or four months. Affected babies cry and often cry for several hours a day. In some rare cases, however, it is possible for the existing colic to last until the sixth or ninth month.

Acupuncture reduces colic in babies
The Swedish researchers found that babies with colic spent less time crying and crying when treated with acupuncture for two weeks compared to babies without acupuncture.

Lactobacillus reuteri supplements can help with colic
When parents have a baby with colic, they look for a safe way of treatment. So far, however, there has been little effective help for the affected babies. However, parents can also try a diet supplement with Lactobacillus reuteri to reduce the burden of colic, explains author Dr. Kajsa Landgren from Lund University.

Ten to twenty percent of babies suffer from colic
If your baby cries more than three hours a day, parents should consider avoiding cow's milk when feeding their offspring, the researchers say. If this change in diet is unsuccessful and the affected children are still suffering from colic, minimal acupuncture could be a safe and effective treatment, the scientists add. Colic occurs relatively often in babies and about ten to twenty percent of all families have a baby who, as a result, cries excessively for days.

157 babies participated in the study
For the current study, the researchers from Sweden recruited 426 healthy infants aged two to eight weeks. In total, however, only 157 of the babies were included in the study. Many of the other children had no real colic and some of the parents did not want to participate in the study, the authors explain.

Babies were divided into three different treatment groups
The babies were randomly assigned to one of three different treatment groups. These included either two different uses of acupuncture or the usual normal care. Less needles were used in acupuncture in children. The stimulation from the needles is mild and short compared to the treatment of adult people, explains Dr. Landgren. Other studies have also used laser acupuncture and acupressure to treat babies' colic.

Acupuncture is more effective than normal care for colic
A total of 147 babies completed the two-week study. When the babies received acupuncture treatment, the constant crying and crying improved compared to the babies with ordinary care, the doctors say. For example, if babies were always treated with acupuncture, they would spend about 40 percent less time crying. For babies with normal care, the figure was only 20 percent.

There is improvement after about one to two weeks
When babies were given acupuncture treatment, the criteria for colic were reduced after just a week or two. The children received a total of 388 acupuncture sessions during the examination. The babies cried during 188 of these sessions, the researchers say.

Acupuncture must be done by an expert
If children actually cry for more than three hours a day, eliminating cow's milk protein in their daily diet or supplementing with Lactobacillus reuteri does not help, acupuncture by an expert could help, emphasizes Landgren. However, the study had too few participants to determine whether an acupuncture technique was more successful than the other treatments. (as)

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