Lactose intolerance occurs when the baby’s body can not break down lactose, a form of sugar found in breast milk, powdered milk, and dairy products.
Approximately 7% of breast milk is composed of lactose. This sugar is also present in milk powder formulas in a similar amount. About 40% of the baby’s energy needs are met by lactose. Lactose also helps in the absorption of calcium and iron, but also in the healthy development of the baby.
How is lactose intolerance in babies?
After feeding the baby, the symptoms of lactose intolerance can occur between 30 minutes and two hours. When the baby’s body can not produce lactase, lactose is not absorbed and ends up remaining in the intestine. The process is called fermentation and causes a large amount of gas that is produced in the child’s stomach.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive gas production
- Stomach burns
- A constant crying that usually occurs because of the feeling of nausea and abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Strong and swollen stomach
- The baby is irritable
- Do not increase weight
- It often stops during breastfeeding
- It has difficulty resting.
At first, the symptoms of lactose intolerance may be mild. The symptoms may become severe if they are untreated.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance:
The baby’s seat could become the consistency of diarrhea that is green and is sparkling. This happens because of the unabsorbed lactose that forces the baby’s intestine to retain water. As soon as you notice such a symptom, talk to your child’s doctor immediately and set up a schedule.
Severe diaper irritation:
The baby may suffer severe irritation in the diaper area that can occur when bacteria in the baby’s intestine break down lactose into hydrogen and lactic acid. This causes irritation and redness on the sensitive skin, especially in the genital area. It is again a situation requiring a quick doctor appointment.
However, in some cases, these symptoms may not be lactose intolerance, but the baby’s body takes a while to adapt to breast milk. Sometimes these symptoms occur in the first week after birth and may take up to six weeks, even five months after birth.