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Impact of FGIDs on Infant Growth
By - Danone Nutricia Academy

Infants between the age of 0- 12 months are most likely to develop Functional Gastro intestinal Disorders (FGIDs) [1], as the nervous system, the gut microbiota and the immune system are not fully developed.

FGIDs (which results in continuous crying) not only impacts the infants' life but also affects the family's wellbeing and finances.


Diagnostic criteria: The FGIDs are classified and diagnosed using the Rome criteria, latest being Rome IV which includes infantile FGIDs as well [2]

Future Health Concerns

Some studies have shown that: [5]

  • 28 % infants with colic developed functional GI problems by age of 13 yrs
  • There is an association between infants with colic within 31 to 87 days and recurrent abdominal pain and allergic disorders within 10 years of age.
  • Infants with colic were likely to have migraines during their school going and adolescent age (6-18 years).
  • Children hospitalised during infancy for continuous crying were known to have mental health issues during their school going days.
  • Infants with spitting on 90 days or more for about 2 yrs, were likely to have gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms by 9 yrs.
  • Some children with autistic spectrum disorder had a history of GI symptoms

Nearly 30% of infants are affected with FGID's which could have a negative impact on their growth and future health. Proper diagnosis, timely treatment and family counselling can have a positive impact on the same.


  1. Vandenplas Y, Hauser B, Salvatore S. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Infancy: Impact on the Health of the Infant and Family. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019;22(3):207-216. doi:10.5223/pghn.2019.22.3.207
  2. Schmulson MJ, Drossman DA. What Is New in Rome IV. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017;23(2):151-163. doi:10.5056/jnm16214
  3. Bellaiche M, Oozeer R, Gerardi-Temporel G, Faure C, Vandenplas Y. Multiple functional gastrointestinal disorders are frequent in formula-fed infants and decrease their quality of life. Acta Paediatr. 2018;107(7):1276-1282. doi:10.1111/apa.14348
  4. Pawłowska K, Umławska W, Iwańczak B. A Link between Nutritional and Growth States in Pediatric Patients with Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. J Pediatr. 2018;199:171-177. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.02.069
  5. Vandenplas Y, Abkari A, Bellaiche M, et al. Prevalence and Health Outcomes of Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Infants From Birth to 12 Months of Age [published correction appears in J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Mar;62(3):516]. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015;61(5):531-537. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000000949

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