Recently, there has been a barrage of litigation involving Similac filed against Abbott Laboratories, the parent company of Similac. The lawsuits claim that Similac infant formula causes premature babies to acquire gastrointestinal infection necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed the product. This has led to serious complications and even death in some cases.
In this article, you can read about everything related to NEC and Similac’s link to this disease.
NEC: A Serious Disease
Necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, is a serious gastrointestinal infection that can occur in premature infants. This disease can cause the death of intestinal tissue, lead to higher cognitive delay, and can even be fatal. While the cause of NEC is not fully understood, it is believed that a combination of factors, including a lack of right nutrition for infants, may contribute to its development.
If your baby is born prematurely, it is important to talk to your doctor about the best way to ensure they are getting the right and safe nutrition to avoid the risk of developing this serious disease.
NEC: Symptoms and Diagnosis
As we mentioned, Necrotizing enterocolitis primarily affects premature infants, who are already vulnerable to many other infections and conditions. The most common symptoms of NEC include:
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal pain
If left untreated, NEC can lead to sepsis and death. NEC is typically diagnosed via X-ray or endoscopy.
How Common is NEC?
NEC is most common in babies born before 28 weeks gestation, and it occurs more often in boys than girls. NEC typically develops within the first two weeks of life, but it can occur up to six weeks after birth. Again, the exact cause of NEC is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including immaturity of the gut, feeding difficulties, and bacterial infection.
Treatment Options for NEC
NEC is often seen in premature infants who are fed with baby formula. This has led many to question whether or not baby formula is the right nutrition for infants. While more research needs to be done on this topic, there are some treatment options available for NEC.
If caught early, NEC can be treated with antibiotics and IV fluids. Antibiotics and other medications help control the infection. However, if the disease progresses, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue. When necessary, surgery is carried out to remove the affected portion of the intestine.
In some cases, a feeding tube may also be necessary. In severe cases, NEC can be fatal. But with proper treatment, most children with NEC recover fully.
The Efficacy of Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer a range of health benefits when consumed. They are found in yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as in dietary supplements. Probiotics have been shown to promote gut health and prevent the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.
The use of probiotics in baby formula has been shown to reduce the incidence of NEC significantly. Probiotics provide the right nutrition for infants and help them to develop a healthy gut flora.
The Growing Prevalence of Baby Formula Feeding
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of parents choosing to feed their babies with formula instead of breast milk. This is due in part to the convenience of formula and the perception that it is more nutritious than breast milk. However, there are some risks associated with formula feeding, such as the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
The Risks Associated With Baby Formula Feeding
While there have been recent instances of baby formula being linked(especially Similac) to NEC, it’s important to remember that NEC is rare, and most babies who are fed formula will not develop the condition.
However, if your baby does develop NEC, it may be fatal, as we have mentioned above. Treatment for NEC typically includes antibiotics and surgery, and the prognosis is generally good if the condition is caught early. If you’re concerned about your baby’s risk of developing NEC, talk to your doctor about alternative feeding options.
Similac Infant Formula: To Add or Not to Add
Similac is a baby formula that is popular among parents of premature infants. Recently, a lawsuit was filed against Similac as research has shown that this milk-based baby formula increases the risk of the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a severe gastrointestinal infection, in premature infants.
The lawsuits allege that Similac knew or should have known about the risks associated with its product. The company denies any wrongdoing, and the cases are still pending. In the meantime, parents of premature infants must decide whether or not to continue using Similac.
We hope that you are now better informed about NEC. As far as Similac’s role in NEC is concerned, the matter is still in the courts, and there is no definitive answer whether it does cause the disease or not. But we have pointed out that baby formula, in general, has been often associated with this disease. Therefore, we leave it to your better judgment to do what is right for your infant.