- An attack of crying and apparent abdominal pain in early infancy. This is a common condition, occurring in about 1 in every 10 babies. Colic is characterized by episodes of irritability, loud crying, and what appears to be abdominal pain with the legs drawn up and the abdomen feeling rigid. An attack of colic usually begins suddenly, often after a feeding. The cry is loud and continuous. The spells last from one to four hours and the baby's face often gets flushed or red. The belly is sometimes distended or prominent; the legs alternate between flexed and extended straight out; the feet are often cold and the hands clenched. The episodes, while they can occur at any time of the day or night, typically begin in the late afternoon or early evening. Overfeeding, undiluted juices, food allergies, and emotional stress can aggravate colic. Colic usually lasts from several weeks of age to 3 to 4 months of age. It is not harmful to the baby but is very consternating and wearing on parents. Parents should not assume new abdominal pain and loud crying in their baby is colic. It is important for the baby to be seen by a
* * *1. Relating to the colon. 2. Spasmodic pains in the abdomen. 3. In young infants, paroxysms of gastrointestinal pain, with crying and irritability, due to a variety of causes, such as swallowing of air, emotional upset, or overfeeding. [G. kolikos, relating to the colon]- biliary c. intense spasmodic pain felt in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen from impaction of a gallstone in the cystic duct. SYN: gallstone c., hepatic c..- Devonshire c. SYN: lead c..- infantile c. episodes of abdominal pain due to abnormal muscular contraction of the intestine in infants.- lead c. severe colicky abdominal pain, with constipation, symptomatic of lead poisoning. SYN: Devonshire c., painter's c., Poitou c., saturnine c..- painter's c. SYN: lead c..- pancreatic c. severe colicky abdominal pain, resembling that of biliary c., caused by the passage of a pancreatic calculus.- Poitou c. SYN: lead c..- renal c. severe colicky pain caused by the impaction or passage of a calculus in the ureter or renal pelvis.- salivary c. periodic attacks of pain in the region of a salivary duct or gland, accompanied by an acute swelling of the gland, occurring in cases of salivary calculus.- tubal c. lower abdominal pain due to spasmodic contraction of the oviduct excited by a blood clot, other irritant, or the injection of gas or oil.- ureteral c. paroxysm of pain due to abrupt obstruction of ureter from a calculus or blood clot in most instances.- uterine c. painful cramps of the uterine muscle sometimes occurring at the menstrual period, or in association with uterine disease.
* * *col·ic 'käl-ik n1) an attack of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ or part (as the small intestine, ureter, or bile duct) and often caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting2) a condition marked by recurrent episodes of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant that is of unknown cause and usu. subsides after three to four months of ageco·lic 'kō-lik, 'käl-ik adj of or relating to the colon <\colic lymph nodes>
* * *n.severe abdominal pain, usually of fluctuating severity, with waves of pain seconds or a few minutes apart. Infantile colic is common among babies, due to wind in the intestine associated with feeding difficulties. Intestinal colic is due to partial or complete obstruction of the intestine or to constipation. Colic arising from the small intestine is felt in the upper abdomen; colic from the colon is felt in the lower abdomen. Medical names: enteralgia, tormina. See also biliary colic.
Medical dictionary. 2011.