Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

“It’s just a bit of colic,” they said

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 17 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4195

Infant colic and maternal food allergy Re: “It’s just a bit of colic,” they said

I wish I had known in 1961 what I learned in the 1970s. After my son was born he screamed every evening due to spams of colic. I also developed a breast abscess with a dramatic rise in my temperature and needed antibiotics immediately.

In the 1970s one of my migraine clinic patients had been to see Dr John Mansfield who advised her to follow his lamb and pears exclusion and re-introduction diet which reveals masked food allergies. Although stopping progestogen and oestrogen use, smoking and ergot and other headache medications reduced the number of headaches by 10 times in migraine patients, some still got headaches.1 When 60 patients also followed the lamb and pears diet all improved and 85% became headache free. 2 Use of hormonal contraceptives increase the risk of zinc and magnesium deficiencies and impair liver clearance and increase the number of masked food allergies.3

In my experience a breast feeding mother who is overweight can lose weight while her baby gains weight if she eats high protein low allergy foods. A baby with severe colic who cries “all the time” may not always benefit from being given goats’ or sheep’s milk. However, if a mother uses a stone age rotation diet to find and exclude her own masked allergens, her baby may stop suffering from colic.

It is a mystery to me why the importance of masked food allergy is still not appreciated.

1 Grant ECG. Food allergies and migraine. Lancet 1979;1:966-69.
2 Grant ECG. Oral contraceptives, smoking, migraine and food allergies. Lancet 1978;2:581-2.
3 Grant ECG. The pill, hormone replacement therapy, vascular and mood over-reactivity, and mineral imbalance. J Nutr Environ Med 1998;8:105-116.

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 August 2016
Ellen C G Grant
Physician and medical gynaecologist
Kingston-upon-Thames. KT2 7JU. UK