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You are here : home > Child's Healthcare > Related Articles for Child's Healthcare > Lactose Intolerance in Infants

Lactose Intolerance in Infants

Lactose Intolerance in Infants

Sometimes lactose intolerance is mistaken with food allergy in babies. Therefore, parents of babies must understand what lactose intolerance in infants exactly is. Read on to find more about the causes and symptoms of lactose intolerance in infants and what parents should do when they observe the symptoms. 

Before starting it is vital to know what exactly lactose intolerance is. Lactose is a type of sugar that is actually found in milk and other dairy products in different proportions. Lactose intolerance is found in some infants and they are unable to digest lactose. It is a matter of deep concern as this is the major source of energy for infants especially in their first few months.

Milk is very essential for healthy bones as well as nerve tissues. So, babies suffering from lactose intolerance have frequent watery stools and the child gets deprived of the major source of energy. When the child is deprived of energy, the energy is provided to him by the stored fats of the body and the result is weight loss.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance in Infants

Here are the common causes of lactose intolerance in infants.

  • Lactose intolerance happens in the lack of the enzyme that helps the body to absorb foods. This enzyme helps babies digest milk and that also includes breast milk.
  • Lactose intolerance is found mostly in premature babies. Some babies who are born normal show the symptoms usually when they are 3 years old.
  • Lactose intolerance can develop in any age. In cesarean babies it is usually after 2 or 5 years.
  • Lactose intolerance is common in adults and there is not much harm due to this.
  • Infection in the small intestine can also be one of the reasons behind lactose intolerance.
  • There is a difference between milk allergy and lactose intolerance and this should be understood when treating an infant.
  • Lactose intolerance is seen when the infant is born with no specific enzyme that helps digest milk.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Infants

  • Loose stools
  • Stomach upset
  • Unable to sleep
  • Not gaining weight
  • Showing signs of reflux
  • Irritability and Uneasiness

One or more of the above mentioned symptoms are common in infants suffering from lactose intolerance. Sometimes this is confused with any other kind of food allergy and so it becomes difficult to learn what exactly the matter is. So, the first thing that the mother or the doctor has to do is carry on some tests to learn whether it is lactose intolerance or something else.

However, many babies have this problem and they carry on with other developments without much difficulty. So, unless the weight and development of the infant does not get hampered, there is not much to worry. Sometimes, when babies fed on formula milk are not treated hygienically, they suffer from different types of problems and might show the same symptoms to confuse the mother.

Once it is proved that your child is suffering from lactose intolerance, you should immediately take the advice of the pediatrician. He might advice you to offer lactose free formula milk or guide you in some other way that is best suitable for your child and his proper growth and development.

One of the most important things that you should keep in mind is that you need to sooth and comfort your child when he shows the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Sometimes, it is observed that by changing the brand of formula milk or avoiding cow’s milk also helps stop the symptoms in infants. However, infants with severe lactose intolerance are kept on lactose free formula milk.

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Pooja Ibrahim.6 years ago
is there no way to make a lactose intolerant to lactose tolerant? I am a lactose intolerant but i want to include milk as i find soy milk taste very different.
Aatish.6 years ago
can a newborn baby have lactose intolerance? If yes, then what are the options of feeding him?
Sue Livs.6 years ago
it must be difficult for parents whose babies have lactose intolerance. Milk in itself is a balanced diet and inability to digest it is a major issue
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