Although colic has always been considered a gastrointestinal illness, new research suggests that migraines might be to blame.
The study, published April 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the odds were nearly seven times higher that children with migraine were colicky babies than were not.
"It is already known that migraine can show with intestinal pain in childhood," said study senior author Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, head of the pediatric migraine and neurovascular diseases clinic at APHP Hospital Robert Debre in Paris, France. That is termed abdominal migraine.
"Our results suggest that infantile colic could represent a form of migraine with age-specific expression," Titomanlio said.
As a colicky child gets older, be aware that he or she may be more likely to have migraine headaches, he added. "By extrapolation [from the study's findings], having had colic could be a risk factor of migraine in teens with recurrent headaches," said Titomanlio.
Colic affects as many as one in five infants, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Babies with colic cry for more than three hours a day, usually at the same time each day, at least three days a week. The exact cause of infant colic is unknown, but it usually gets better by 12 weeks of age.
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