This article was supported through
an unrestricted grant from Nutricia.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), namely regurgitation/gastroesophageal reflux (GOR), colic and functional constipation, are very common and may be seen in more than 50% of infants.2

The prevalence of FGIDs varies from study to study. However, all would recognise them as frequent issues in the first year of life and common causes of parental concern requiring advice from healthcare professionals (HCPs).

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Explain the prevalence, and signs and symptoms, of common functional FGIDs, such as colic, constipation and regurgitation in infants, and their impact on both the infants and their parents

  • Differentiate between FGIDs and more serious underlying conditions, such as cows’ milk allergy and lactose intolerance, and identify when to refer

  • Evaluate the available evidence for and against a nutritional approach for the management of FGIDs

  • Provide practical advice and guidance on the management of FGIDs, including when it is appropriate to recommend tailored nutrition infant formula for formula-fed infants.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.5

Case scenario

Sarah, a 31-year-old first-time mother, brings her 7-week-old infant, Ben, into your pharmacy. Sarah is worried. Most evenings over the last three weeks, Ben has had episodes of prolonged and persistent crying. These have lasted about three hours. During these episodes, he is hard to console, and keeps pulling his legs up when laid down. He does not feed well during these episodes and keeps pulling off the breast.

Test your knowledge on this article’s assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.