Keep An Eye For Lactose Intolerance

Keep An Eye For Lactose Intolerance
Health & Nutrition

Most kids will have lactose intolerance when they are born and can digest as babies.

Lactose is the main sugar of breast milk.A child can develop lactose intolerance if an infection or an allergic reaction damages the small intestine, causing a shortage of lactase enzyme.

The most common cause of lactose intolerance in infants and young children is infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract and can damage the lining of the small intestine.

Here are the symptoms you should look out for: • Loose stools and gas, especially with consumption of foods containing large amount of dairy products, which contain lactose • Watery diarrhea with gas • Stomach bloating, flatulence, nausea • Skin rash and frequent colds • Generalized abdominal pain and cramping • Vomiting The more lactose your child consumes, the more symptoms she will experience.

If you suspect any of the above symptoms, the first thing you will have to do is book an appointment with the doctor, who can diagnose lactose intolerance with either a hydrogen breath test or a series of blood tests that measure blood sugar levels before and after consuming lactose.

Subsequent breath samples are taken for up to three hours. The breath that they exhale into the bag is analyzed to determine its hydrogen content. During the course of the test, kids who are lactose intolerant will have an increase in the amount of hydrogen that they exhale. If the values for hydrogen increase above a certain value the diagnosis of lactose intolerance is made. Kids who are lactose intolerant may also develop their typical symptoms during the test.

However, you should never try to alter your child’s diet without expert advice. Most doctors will be able to help you with general nutritional advice for managing sensitivity to lactose, and nutritional specialists can help you approach a dairy intolerance in toddlers.