Symptoms & Remedies to Handle Lactose Intolerance in Children
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Nov 05, 2021
If your baby is uncomfortable after having a milk feed and has vomiting, diarrhea, pain, bloating, etc. there are chances of the baby having lactose intolerance. Read this blog now to find out how to handle lactose intolerance in children, symptoms & remedies to recover your child.
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition wherein the baby is unable to tolerate the lactose sugar present in milk. This is because of a lack of enzyme and lactase, which is required to digest this lactose sugar present in milk. The reason could be genetic or because of other reasons like surgery, infection in the gut or any other. It is relatively common in preterm babies or those born before 34th week of gestation. It is basically an imbalance between the amount of lactose taken and the level of lactase activity. The level of tolerance (lactase activity) is different in different babies. [Read - Lactose Intolerance Causes in Infants]
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Infant
Here are symptoms to diagnose to protect children from having lactose intolerance. Read here
Very low level of lactase activity or severe lactose intolerance
Moderate level of lactase activity or moderated lactose intolerance
Ways to Manage Lactose Intolerance in Children
Initially, removal of all milk, milk products (including baby foods like cerelac, formula milk) would relieve symptoms. Lactose-free milk or lactose-free whole milk is then recommended by the doctor. The amount and interval are decided by treating doctor. However, according to the "American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)"; the breastfed infants/babies can be continued on their mother’s milk (unless advised otherwise by the pediatrician).
Home Remedies to Recover Child from Lactose Intolerance
Here are the tips if your baby has any kind of lactose intolerance. Read these as given below:
#1. What If Very low level of lactase activity or Severe Lactose Intolerance
- All milk products should be eliminated from the diet
- Use substitutes of milk like lactose-free milk, soymilk, groundnut /coconut milk, etc.
- On the recommendation of doctor enzymes ‘lactase’ available in the market can be used in the milk or milk products to reduce symptoms of intolerance
- Calcium can be supplemented by using foods like ragi, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, etc.
- All other foods including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, egg, meats can be given to make the diet balanced
#2. What If Moderate level of lactase activity or Moderated Lactose Intolerance
- Fermented and cooked milk is better tolerated. So buttermilk, curds, custard, kheer, porridge can be given
- A baby may tolerate small amounts of milk especially if taken with other foods e.g. after a meal/snack
- Again small amounts can be given many times a day instead of one whole cup/glass at a time
- Curd is better tolerated than milk
- The little amount of aged cheese may also be tolerated
- All other foods including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, egg, and meats can be given to make the diet balanced
Tests to Diagnose Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance diagnostic test available which can inform about the level and activity of the lactase enzyme. Depending on the level of activity, foods can be given.
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Disclaimer: Please take the advice of your pediatrician, if the child has been diagnosed with lactose intolerance.
| Jun 25, 2018
hello... my baby is 2 yrs 10 mnths old ... he has lactose intolerance... doctor told me not to give milk,soya milk, biscuits,cakes,curd, chocolates, butter,ghee, cheese,and all food that contains milk.... pls suggest me some what should I give him as a snacks....
| Aug 26, 2018
hi smita.... read ur post.... i would suggest not to eliminate any milk product from ur baby' diet rather give ghee in her diet..... as this was tge case with me also.... my child's doc also suggested the same but when i started giving her homoeopathy that doctor advised me to give everything including ghee to the baby as smtimes there intenstine is dry which causes constipation with milk products and that leads to lactose intolerance thing.... rest every mother is the best judge for her baby