Answer ( 1 )

  1. Hello Dear,

    Thank you for writing to us at MediMetry.
    Lactose intolerance happens when the body can’t break down a sugar called lactose, which is present in all breastmilk, dairy milk and other dairy products.
    Lactose makes up around 7% of breastmilk (and a similar amount in infant formula). Lactose provides around 40% of your baby’s energy needs, helps her absorb calcium and iron, and helps ensure healthy development.Usually, the enzyme lactase, which is produced in the small intestine, changes the lactose into glucose and galactose – sugars that are more easily absorbed. Sometimes babies don’t produce enough lactase to break down all the lactose, so the unabsorbed lactose passes through the gut without being digested. Bacteria eat the undigested lactose, which leads to a build-up of gas and causes other symptoms, like wind and diarrhoea.

    Lactose intolerance is different from milk allergy. Milk allergy is a reaction by the body’s immune system to the proteins found in milk.
    Common symptoms of lactose intolerance:
    Without lactase, the lactose in milk doesn’t get absorbed and stays in the intestines. As bacteria in the gut feast on the lactose – a process known as ‘fermentation’ – they produce large amounts of gas. This causes a range of symptoms including: wind,pain and swelling in the tummy,crankiness, failure to settle,at feeding times, coming on and off the breast,failure to gain weight,diarrhoea (Frothy green diarrhoea happens because unabsorbed lactose forces the intestines to retain excess water).

    Another possible side effect is red, raw nappy rash. This is when the gut bacteria break down lactose, converting it to hydrogen and lactic acid. This makes your baby’s bowel movements very acidic, which can cause irritation and redness on her sensitive skin. You should put a good protective cream on your baby’s bottom if this happens.

    Even if your child has these symptoms, it doesn’t mean he’s lactose intolerant. Some or all of these symptoms are common in healthy breastfed infants.
    Hope this answers your query. Feel free to write back with follow-up questions.
    Stay connected to MediMetry for regular tips for new moms and preparing yourself for managing a new born!