Lots of calcium is good for the bones, experts say. That is why parents often give their children dairy products. But how do you deal with it if your child is diagnosed with lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance in children – a common condition
Many people suffer from lactose intolerance. In fact, only about ten percent of the world’s population can reduce lactose. In northern and central Europe, however, only 5 to 15 percent of people suffer from intolerance.
Nutritionist Sigrid Steeb writes in her guidebook “Food intolerances”: “For the infant, lactose is the most important energy-giving carbohydrate.” Why do babies in Southeast Asia, where more than 90 percent of the population suffer from lactose intolerance, tolerate breast milk?
You can break down lactose. In most regions of the world, they lose this ability only after weaning – the body then stops producing enough lactase. This enzyme is responsible for the fact that lactose is split in the intestine and thus becomes tolerated by the body.
How is the lactose intolerance shown?
The symptoms of lactose intolerance for babies may be shown the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and flatulence
According to nutritionist Sigrid Steeb “Alactasia (congenital intolerance) leads to diarrhea and failure to thrive in infants even with breastmilk.”
Tummy ache after a glass of milk
The ability to make lactase decreases with age. Because of this, many people only suffer from lactose intolerance as adults. But even children may have to go through this problem. If they often complain of stomachache after eating dairy products, a doctor should test for lactose intolerance.
The genetic test brings more assurance
Suitable for this is a genetic test. A doctor merely takes a buccal swab and examines the genes of the child. This lactose intolerance test is completely painless. However, the genetic test can only detect an innate intolerance.
From birth, no milk lover
Rarely, lactose intolerance can be innate. Then mothers have to abstain from dairy products even while breastfeeding. Fortunately, high-quality lactose-free products that supply the baby all around are now available in vial food. Some infants only suffer from transient lactose intolerance. The reason for this is usually a not yet formed intestinal mucosa. The problem dissolves in these cases, for example, after the first birthday.
Lactose intolerance versus cow’s milk allergy
The milk sugar intolerance is quite different from a cow’s milk allergy. Lactose is not the problem in the latter case, but the milk protein. About two percent of all infants suffer from it. With them, the chance is great that the allergy disappears after a while. Typical allergic symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting or itching. The pediatrician can provide security with a blood test.