Lactose intolerance is the reduced ability to digest milk sugars, due to insufficient amounts of the gut enzyme called Lactase.
This enzyme breaks down lactose which is then easily absorbed in the bloodstream and becomes an important source of energy in children. However, when lactose is not broken down by lactase, it starts getting accumulating in the intestines.
Abdominal discomfort, flatulence and bloating due to the consumption of dairy foods usually take place because of lactose intolerance.
Breastfed babies can be lactose intolerant because lactose is found in breast milk as well as baby formula.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE and MILK ENERGY are different
Many parents confuse the terms lactose intolerance and milk allergy. While these two may share similar symptoms but they are entirely different conditions. Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem while milk allergy involves the immune system.
If there are a number of signs of lactose intolerant and they prevail for a long period of time, parents should get their kids diagnosed for this condition. Only the kids who are truly lactose intolerant should be taken off the consumption of milk. The rest can survive on breast milk.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance can occur within minutes to hours after drinking milk or eating dairy products. Here are symptoms you should look out for:
- Abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating
- Loose stools and gas
- Watery diarrhoea with gas
- Failure to settle at feeding times
- Not able to gain weight
- Red bottom with skin worn away in places
ALTERNATIVES and ADVICE
There are many other milk substitutes that a child with lactose intolerance can consume. They include soy, almond, rice, hemp, and oat milk. Soy milk is a very popular milk alternative. It is a good source of calcium and protein. Almond milk has also become a popular alternative. It is also safe for children with lactose intolerance or a cow’s milk protein allergy. Although almond is lower in protein and contains fewer calories than cow’s milk. It is important to talk with your pediatrician before you start any alternative milk form.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. You must always consult a doctor for more information.