How To Tell If Newborn Is Lactose Intolerant

Why Do We Need Lactose

How to Tell if Baby Has Cow Milk Intolerance & Allergy | What is CMPI? | Pediatrician Explains
  • Lactose helps babies to thrive by providing the calories they need to grow.
  • Calcium and phosphorus aid bone development and lactose helps your child absorb these two essential minerals.
  • Friendly bacteria are thought to develop because of lactose, giving newborns the ability to fight off unwanted bacteria, thus keeping the digestive system healthy.
  • Healthy brain development and optimum growth of the nervous system is another vital function of lactose.

What To Do If Your Child Is Lactose Intolerant

If your child is lactose intolerant, there are many solutions that allow your child to have a healthy, well-rounded diet. With the right foods and treatments, you can help stop your childâs symptoms.

For true lactose intolerant babies, it is recommended that parents seek the help of a pediatric gastroenterologist to manage this condition. Because these infants are often âfailure to thriveâ and have diarrhea, they may need a special formula and should be closely monitored for adequate weight gain.

Older children have multiple options, such as choosing dairy-free milk and dairy-free cheese products or using Lactaid tablets, which contain lactase enzymes. Lactaid tablets come in a chewable form for children ages 4 years and up.

âYou can take Lactaid tablets with the first sip or bite of dairy,â says Dr. Ramirez. âIt gives you the enzyme needed to break down the lactose for 45 minutes of eating or drinking. Taking a Lactaid tablet should help prevent symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea.â

If children have temporary secondary lactase deficiency, you can help them avoid dairy for about two weeks, then reintroduce dairy products. Transient lactose intolerance can sometimes occur after a viral or bacterial gastroenteritis.

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Information On Specific Food Allergies & Elimination Diets

Elimination Diets

Various allergies

  • The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network FAANs mission is To raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. Tons of information here.
  • Veggies Uniteyour online vegetarian resource guide, has lots of vegan recipes very useful if you are avoiding dairy, eggs, etc.

Cows milk products

  • The No Milk Page. A list of links for people who must be cautious about consuming milk and milk byproducts.


  • Avoiding Corn by Ephraim Vishniac. Information on determining whether you have a corn allergy and on corn-derived ingredients that should be avoided by those with corn allergy.

Food additives


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Things To Try For Unusual Poop Or Other Symptoms That Suggest Milk Issues

You may want to switch formulas with the guidance of your doctor if your child is allergic to milk or if they show a protein sensitivity. There are a variety of choices on the market, including soy and hypoallergenic formulas that you can purchase both over the counter and by prescription.

Breastfeeding mamas may need to modify their own diets to ensure that milk and its protein isnt passed through down to their baby. This means avoiding obvious foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.

Youll also need to read labels carefully to look for things like dry milk solids, buttermilk, casein, and other products found in processed foods. Talk to your doctor before following any strict elimination diet, as you may be missing out on important nutrients.

If you suspect foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, a visit to a certified lactation consultant may be helpful. You may want to try feeding more frequently or feeding baby fully on one breast before changing to the next.

Common Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance

How To Know If Your Baby Has Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies and children include:

  • attachment problems during breastfeeding
  • failure to gain weight.

Even if your baby has these symptoms, it doesnt always mean shes lactose intolerant. Some or all of these symptoms can be common in healthy breastfed infants.

If you think your baby or child has the symptoms of lactose intolerance, you should talk with your GP.

Sometimes lactose intolerance is confused with food allergies like cows milk allergy. Some common food allergy symptoms include vomiting, blood or mucus in diarrhoea, hives and swelling around the eyes these arent symptoms of lactose intolerance. If your child has symptoms like these, you should see your GP for a proper assessment.

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Diagnosis And Dietary Changes

Itsquite easy to test for lactose intolerance. Its done using a lactose breathtest, which measures hydrogen levels in the breath after consuming lactose.

Normally,very little hydrogen is detected in breath. Raised hydrogen breath levelsindicate the improper digestion of lactose, which could indicate lactoseintolerance. In young children and those who cannot perform the breathtest, strict elimination of lactose-containing food for two to four weeks isanother option.

Althoughthere is no cure for this digestive problem, some dietary changes can make ahuge difference for your child. I also recommend children with lactoseintolerance take an over-the-counter lactase enzyme supplement if they aregoing to eat any lactose-containing foods to help alleviate symptoms. However,this may not help if consumed with large amounts of lactose-containing foods.

Overtime, you and your child will learn how much dairy-based food and drink he orshe can handle. For patients with significant symptoms, a dietitian can helpidentify foods containing lactose.

It is also important to make sure your child still gets enough calcium and vitamin D, since dairy is normally a good source for these nutrients.

Signs And Symptoms Of Baby Formula Intolerance

Distinguishing what’s normal from potentially abnormal in babies is challenging for all parents. Pediatricians commonly hear questions about frequent crying or spitting up, as well as noisy breathing. While these behaviors can be normal, they sometimes indicate an underlying problem — such as formula intolerance or allergy. Formula intolerance is a reaction to formula ingredients that irritate the babys digestive tract and may cause inflammation throughout the body. A formula allergy is an immune system reaction to proteins in the formula. Although formula allergy and intolerance are different, the symptoms are often similar, and the terms are frequently used interchangeably.

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Types Of Lactose Intolerance

The 2006 AAP article in “Pediatrics” lists four types of lactose intolerance: primary, secondary, congenital and developmental lactase deficiency. Primary lactase deficiency is the most common and occurs when your body doesnt produce enough lactase. It usually develops over time and is more common in some ethnicities such as Asian, Hispanic and African American populations. Secondary lactase deficiency occurs when the small intestine is damaged from another condition or illness such as chronic diarrhea, gastroenteritis or chemotherapy. This type of lactose intolerance usually occurs in infants. Congenital lactase deficiency is extremely rare, and developmental lactase deficiency occurs in preterm infants born before 34 weeks gestation.

What Is True Lactose Intolerance

Does your Baby Have Lactose Intolerance Or Cows Milk Allergy?

True lactose intolerance, or what is medically known or otherwise known as primary lactose intolerance, or Galactosemia is an extremely rare genetic condition, which requires medical treatment to manage.

From birth a baby with Glactosemia fails to thrive, meaning they wont put on any weight. These children require a very special diet and emergency medical treatment, with a hydrogen breath test and tests for reducing sugar in the stools undertaken for diagnosis.

Glactosemia occurs when a baby does not produce lactase, which breaks down lactose. Only a few people in the world have been diagnosed with this condition. The US National Library of Medicine states that, ‘Classic Galactosemia occurs in 1 in 30,000 to 60,000 newborns. Galactosemia type II and type III are less common type II probably affects fewer than 1 in 100,000 newborns and type III appears to be very rare’.

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What Is Cows’ Milk Allergy

Most infant formula milk is made from cows’ milk. The first time a baby has cows’ milk, it’s very likely to be in formula. That’s because cows’ milk itself isn’t recommended as a drink for children under the age of 1. But from around 6 months old, when a baby is being introduced to solids, they can have cows milk as an ingredient in foods.

Cows’ milk allergy is one of the most common allergies for babies and young children. Experts estimate that 2% to 7.5% of U.K. babies under 12 months old have it. If it happens, your child’s immune system reacts to the proteins in milk, triggering allergy symptoms. That’s why it’s sometimes called cows’ milk protein allergy.

If your baby does get an allergy to cow’s milk, it usually starts when your baby is first exposed to cow’s milk, through formula, or later with solid foods.

Sometimes, but not very often, babies who are breastfed can have this allergy. It’s because the cows’ milk from the mum’s diet is being passed on to the baby through their breast milk.

Most children grow out of the allergy by the time they reach the age of 5.

How Does A Lactose Intolerance Affect Breastfeeding And Formula Feeding

If diagnostic testing confirms a lactose intolerance, dont immediately panic and stop breastfeeding. Whether youre able to continue breastfeeding depends on the type of lactase deficiency.

For example, if your baby develops a lactose intolerance after a viral illness, the general recommendation is to continue breastfeeding. Breast milk can give their immune system a boost and help heal their gut.

If your infant has developmental lactase deficiency due to a premature birth, this condition only lasts a few weeks or months. So your baby may eventually drink milk-based formula or breast milk with no problem, although youll need to use lactose-free infant formula in the meantime.

But breastfeeding isnt an option if your baby has a congenital lactase deficiency. The lactose in your breast milk can cause severe diarrhea and lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss. Youll need to feed your baby with lactose-free infant formula.

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Will My Baby Grow Out Of Lactose Intolerance

Depending on the cause, your baby may fully recover from a lactose intolerance, or be able to tolerate more lactose in their diet in the future. For example, symptoms of secondary lactose intolerance normally disappear within two to four weeks11, when the intestinal wall has recovered from the gut damage causing it. However, for some people, lactose intolerance lasts for life.

Your GP or paediatric dietician may want to try to reintroduce lactose to your babys diet at some point to test your babys reaction and see if theres been any change. So keep in touch with your health professional and keep them in the loop about how your baby is getting on.

Cow Milk Protein Intolerance

Understanding Lactose Intolerance In Babies

Some babies have trouble breaking down the proteins in cows milk. If your little one is sensitive to milk proteins, you may see diarrhea even bloody diarrhea and mucus in the stool. Your baby may also experience a rash, eczema, abdominal pain, or vomiting.

Symptoms of this intolerance tend to develop within the first week of exposure. This condition affects formula-fed babies, but milk proteins can also pass through breastmilk if a mother consumes dairy.

Some 2 to 5 percent of babies have this sensitivity, but it generally resolves by the time they reach their first birthdays. So an ice cream cake may still be an option for the big day. Ready the camera!

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What Is Lactose Intolerance

Your child may have a different type of reaction to cows’ milk, or formula made from it, called lactose intolerance. This is when their body can’t digest lactose, which is a type of natural sugar found in milk.

About 70% of people in the world have lactose intolerance. It’s more common among people from Asian, African, and Hispanic ethnic groups.

Babies and young children can also become temporarily intolerant to lactose after they’ve had a tummy bug or another condition.

What Is Milk Intolerance And Milk Allergy

Around 1 in 10 young children has a reaction when they drink cows milk. This could be because they have a lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Milk allergy is much more common than lactose intolerance in children under 5.

Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system it means your child doesnt have the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which is the sugar in milk.

Milk allergy, however, is a problem with the immune system the body reacts to the protein in milk. An allergy usually involves other parts of the body as well as the stomach, and may cause symptoms such as a skin rash or swelling of the face.

Your doctor can confirm whether your child is lactose-intolerant or has a milk allergy by doing some medical tests. Dont use unproven tests such as Vega, kinesiology, Alcat or allergy elimination tests for children. A milk intolerance is very unlikely to be the cause of mucus or coughing.

Many young children grow out of their intolerance or allergy. But dont start giving them cows milk until your doctor tells you its safe to do so.

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How Common Is Lactose Intolerance In Babies

Most people with a lactose intolerance dont develop symptoms until later in life when their bodys natural production of lactase the enzyme that helps the body digest lactose declines.

This decline doesnt usually take place until later in childhood, during the teenage years, or in adulthood. So lactose intolerance in babies under age 1 is pretty rare but its not impossible.

Milk Intolerance In Babies And Children

Are You Lactose Intolerant or Allergic to Dairy?

6-minute read

Some babies and children have a reaction when they drink cow’s milk or formula made from cow’s milk. This could be due to 2 things: a lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk. If your child has one of these conditions, you will have to alter their diet to cut down on milk or avoid it altogether.

  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • they are pale and floppy or unconscious

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My Doctor Said I Should Stop Breastfeeding

Some doctors are confused about temporary lactose intolerance, milk allergy and colic. They may recommend lactose-free formula or newer special formulas. However the answer to most cases of temporary lactose intolerance is to get help with breastfeeding rather than switch to industrial formulas. A baby with an irritated intestine needs the anti inflammatory effects of breast milk and a breastfeeding specialist can help suggest changes to feeding management10.

Excerpt from
  • concentrated sources of the problem proteins
  • without the advantage of having been processed by maternal digestion
  • utterly devoid of the other benefits bestowed by her milk. p47

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