Is your child complaining about an upset stomach or stomachache after having a glass of milk or any other dairy product?
There might be chances that they are suffering from lactose intolerance.
Now, are you wondering what lactose intolerance is?
Lactose is a kind of sugar present naturally in the milk of mammals
Most children who suffer from the Lactose Intolerance problem aren’t able to digest the Lactose or sugar present in the milk.
In this blog, we will discuss how lactose intolerance works in your child’s body and what its prevailing symptoms are.
Stay tuned to this article.
How does the body become intolerant to Lactose?
Lactose comprises two molecules of sugar, namely glucose and galactose. To make this Lactose absorbed by the body, it is spitted further into two components by the action of an enzyme called lactase.
Lactase is present in the lining of the small intestine.
In the case of a lactose intolerance child, the lactase does not work efficiently to break down Lactose and absorb it in the small intestine.
Due to this, Lactose passes into the large intestine.
Further, the gut bacteria in the large intestine ferment them and thus producing hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
They also produce certain laxative effects causing byproducts
Ways by which lactose intolerance develops
Lactose intolerance can develop in your child’s body in three different ways. These are:
Acquired lactose intolerance
In this category, your child’s small intestine declines absorption of Lactose after infancy. This process occurs naturally.
Primary Lactase deficiency
In some rare cases, babies are born without lactase enzymes. It occurs in a recessive trait when the baby has acquired at least one abnormal gene from each parent.
Such babies develop severe diarrhea immediately after breastfeeding.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
After suffering from an infection that irritates the digestive tract, some children may develop temporary lactose intolerance.
Such infections are rotavirus or giardiasis.
Also, celiac disease causes damage to the lining of the small intestine due to the ingestion of gluten.
Another reason may be Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disorder of the bowel.
All these secondary forms of Lactose Intolerance can be easily cured by taking certain precautions and proper medications.
Signs and Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Kids
Lactose Intolerance is also referred to as Lactose Malabsorption.
If your child is Lactose intolerant, the symptoms of lactose intolerance usually start affecting your child from 30 minutes to two hours after intake of any food that contains Lactose.
- Diarrhea or very foul-smelling stools that may occur frequently associated with the lactose intake of the child
Your child may experience stomach pain or cramps after consuming dairy products.
- Nausea or Vomiting
In some extreme cases, the child may suffer from nausea with vomiting because of poor digestion.
- Bloating or gas
After consuming dairy products, your child may suffer from gas or bloating
- Bad breathe
As lactose pass to the large intestine for the babies who are Lactose intolerant, gut bacteria cause their fermentation and thus produce methane or hydrogen gas. This is the reason your child may experience bad breath.
The severity of symptoms depends upon the quantity or amount of Lactose consumed. The more Lactose, your child, consumes, the more will become occurrence of the symptom.
How to suspect lactose intolerance in your child?
Try to reduce or eliminate the products from your child’s diet which contain Lactose, such as milk, cheese, or ice cream, for at least two weeks.
If the things related to your child’s health start to normal, then lactose intolerance is the culprit.
Is lactose intolerance different from milk allergy?
Sometimes parents misinterpret lactose intolerance as milk allergy. Though both have similar symptoms, the latter is a serious immune system reaction caused by Lactose.
Lactose intolerance is commonly noticed in infants or toddlers.
Milk allergy is a reaction caused due to proteins present in milk and not due to sugar.
Though it starts showing symptoms in early childhood, it becomes more severe in adulthood.
A risk involving factors of lactose intolerance
Premature birth: If your baby is born premature, then he might have a reduced level of lactase as the small intestine is not fully developed.
The sight of relief is despite of discomfort associated with Lactose Intolerance. It is not a complicated or life-threatening disorder.
The symptoms discussed above can be easily avoided by taking proper consultation with the pediatricians as they can suggest the food to be avoided in your child’s diet well.
Make an appointment with a pediatrician if you observe the frequent occurrence of the symptoms discussed above in your child.
Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Sunpediatrics can help you with this concern.
Our highly expert pediatricians can help you develop a proper healthcare plan drafted per your child’s unique health conditions.
To make an appointment concerning your child’s health, contact Sunpediatrics.
We are readily available to serve your child with utmost care.