A crying baby, a teenage boy with his hands on his stomach, and a man holding his stomach in a row, they overlay a chain made of intestines.

What Is The Link Between IBS and Colic?

I can’t remember a time in my life when my gut wasn’t something I thought about on a daily basis. Even as a child I learned quickly that I always needed to know where the closest bathroom was and the quickest route to get there. Something a child shouldn’t have to worry about. But for me, this was just my daily life.

Recently we welcomed a new addition to my family. My younger brother and his partner’s daughter was born. She is the sweetest little thing and just perfect. Rarely cries and when she does its always for a reason, whether she is hungry or needs changed, it’s pretty easy to figure out. Having her around has made all of us think back to when we were all small.

Colic as a baby

Me and my sister Amy stopped by our older sister’s house a few days ago just to chit chat. As we were talking about little Arley, Debbie brought up how bad I had colic as a baby. She said I would scream for hours unless I was riding in a car and even then, if they had to stop at a light or stop sign, I would start back up. Yet my younger brother who is only 16 months younger than me rarely cried or made a noise.

The link between colic and IBS

This really made me think. Is there a link between colic and later gut issues. Debbie also said I would scream with belly pain. To me this really makes sense. I know as far back as I can remember I have always had problems with my gut. Can infants have IBS too? Is it something that could have been caught before I was in my 20s? How many others are like me?

My daughter didn’t have colic, but she did have issues with formula. We tried every formula out there and nothing really made a difference. She was constantly spitting up (not just a little bit, projectile style), had to take medication for heart burn (that I only let her take a short time until I saw it was still not helping) and still has small stomach issues today. Today she is lactose intolerant and has mild constipation if we aren’t on top of her drinking plenty of fluids and eating fiber.

What could we do differently?

As parents we are always doing whatever we can to make our babies happy, healthy, and comfortable. For my family it was riding in the car for hours nightly. For me it was finding a formula my daughter could handle. This makes me wonder if colic is something that does truly go away with age, or if it’s a sign of gut issues to come later in life.

For those of us who are now grown with IBS, I wonder if there is something we could have changed or handled differently when we were children that could have given us a different outcome. Obviously, we can’t change that now, but it could be something to investigate for the future generations that are growing up now.

Do you know if you had colic or something similar as an infant? Do you think it could have been a sign of what your future looks like today?

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