A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the bacteria content of poopy in 36 infants to evaluate whether these are abnormal in infants with symptoms of colic.
During a 24 hour test, infants with symptoms of colic cried more than non-colicky babies, with an average of 314 minutes of crying during the 24 hour period (that's over 5 hours of crying!).
When the researchers looked at the poop samples from the colicky babies, they found abnormal levels of two different bacteria (klebsiella and enterobacter/pantoea). These bacteria have been linked to several disorders in both children and adults, such as pneumonia, sepsis and diarrhea.
They also found that levels of something called fecal calprotectin were two times higher in colicky infants than controls. High calprotectin levels are also found in children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and infants with intestinal inflammation. This finding suggests that colicky babies have a condition that is somewhat similar to that found in irritable bowel syndrome.
The results of this study suggest that infant colic may be quite similar to some stomach disorders found in children and adults. The authors suggest that colic might be an inflammatory disorder of the intestine. These findings might help lead researchers towards finding effective treatments for colic. In the meantime, you can read some of our treatment recommendations here.