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Child having crying fits and panic attack. Cries when gas in belly, stops after burping. Is this normal?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Feb 2013
Feb 2013
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My 4 month old is a very calm baby. She hardly ever cries, but when she does she gets very worked up. Recently she had 2 crying fits that looked like a panic attack. She starts crying because of gas in her belly and gets out of control until she is hyperventilating and gasping for air. Once she burps she stops and is fine. Is this normal? Is there a good way to prevent this from happening? It happened the first time on an airplane ride and was very scary.
Posted Wed, 29 May 2013 in Child Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 20 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query on Healthcare Magic.

Around this age group, children will cry because of the following reasons:

1. Colic

2. Flatulence

3. Reflux

Colic is a common problem in infants and it usually starts in the evening. The child will cry some times for hours, till gets exhausted.

Colic is experienced by almost all infants and as the age grows this problem settles down.

Flatulence or excessive gas formation also lead to some discomfort in abdomen but excessive crying from it is unusual but it may overlap with colic which can occur in this age group.

Gastro esophageal reflux will cause pain and discomfort. And because of excessive air swallowing this problem gets aggravated leading to pain followed by crying.

But in the airplane the crying may be because of the discomfort caused by the pressure changes in the ear.

By crying, the tube connecting the throat and middle ear (Eustachian tube) will open and the pressures will be adjusted. In plane try to give feeds as the swallowing will help her to adjust the pressure changes by opening the tube.

I advise you the following measures to decrease the crying episodes :

1.Burp the child after each feeding as it helps the baby to expel the swallowed air
thus decreasing the discomfort.


2.Before feeding you can give oral drops like Decolic in prescribed dosage.

3.You can do gentle massage of baby tummy or hold baby tummy against your
shoulder.

In spite of all these measures, if the child continue to cry consult the pediatrician for physical examination and for specific treatment.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any clarification please let me know.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child having crying fits and panic attack. Cries when gas in belly, stops after burping. Is this normal? 21 hours later
Is it common for the baby to cry until hyperventilating?
 
 
Answered by Dr. E Venkata Ramana 42 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for getting back.

Excessive crying till full exhaustion is seen in infants with colic. But colic is common within 3 months of age.

And the colic episodes are stereotyped means they present in similar fashion and once they are witnessed it is easy to detect the colic episodes and they are common in the evenings.

But physical examination of the infant by pediatrician is important to rule out any underlying medical problems.

Therefore I advise you to consult the pediatrician for the physical examination of the child to rule out any underlying medical condition.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any clarification please let me know.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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