What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies? How is lactose intolerance in babies diagnosed and how can it be treated? What is lactose intolerance? If you want to find out the answers, keep reading. Lactose intolerance can be defined as the inability of one’s body to produce sufficient amounts of an enzyme that is necessary for lactose digestion. This enzyme is called lactase and its role is to help your body digest sugar that is contained in milk and other milk-based products. What happens next? Well, lactose remains undigested and it will stay in your intestine. This can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, but it can cause other problems, as well. However, these are not dangerous problems.
Why Does Lactose Intolerance Occur?
Lactose intolerance occurs mostly because of genetics. Babies can have this problem if they are prematurely born. However, this problem is seen in other kids, too. Lactose intolerance is not easy to see in babies. It manifests during the puberty (in most of the cases). Therefore, it is not easy to tell whether your baby has lactose intolerance or not. We know that this issue is very common, so you should know more about it.
The Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Babies
As we said, it is not very easy to tell whether the baby has this problem or not. However, if you notice that your baby has severe diarrhea and cannot digest your breast milk (or formula), that can indicate lactose intolerance. Diarrhea can be very severe; nevertheless, it can only be temporary – there were such cases, but diarrhea stopped and everything got back to normal. That is why it is so hard to diagnose lactose intolerance – diarrhea can be caused by other things, too.
Abdominal bloating, nausea and gas are also some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies. The symptoms occur right after eating milk. This will make the baby cry more and you will be able to see that something is bothering your child.
Lactose Intolerance in Babies – What Are the Causes
The causes of lactose intolerance in babies are no different from those in adults. The common cause is deficiency of lactase. There are two types of lactase deficiency: primary and secondary. Primary deficiency occurs when body stops producing lactase because the child starts to consume other types of food (not only milk). Secondary deficiency can be caused by small intestine damages. Some illnesses can lead to this condition like parasites, gastroenteritis, celiac disease, severe diarrhea etc.
Can babies be born with this issue? Yes, they can. Some babies have lactose intolerance as soon as they are born. In these cases, lactose intolerance is hereditary. These babies have problems with digesting breast milk, too. This problem has to be solved as soon as possible. You should do something about it, since this can affect the baby’s development and growth.