COLIC is not a specific disease or diagnosis; it is a clinical syndrome involving abdominal pain. A large number of different diseases, both intestinal and non-intestinal, can cause abdominal pain, and a thorough and systematic physical examination is required in each case to diagnose the cause, or at least to differentiate the 'benign' colics from the life-threatening and surgical causes. The majority of colic cases encountered in first opinion practice are associated with mild and non-specific signs and will often, therefore, be amenable to medical therapy. In many cases, the response (or lack of response) to simple medical treatments will also be helpful diagnostically.
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