Lactose intolerance in children or cow milk allergy

Lactose intolerance in children

Many adults but also children suffer from lactose intolerance. A recognizable one is not always easy, because different symptoms can occur. Often these are not automatically associated with lactose intolerance, as the occurring abdominal pain, especially in infancy and over the entire childhood occur again. Abdominal cramps, flatulence or diarrhea can also be caused by teething, for example. Only when the symptoms persist permanently, it must be considered about a possible food allergy or intolerance.

Distinction between lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy

lactose intolerance

In this no lactose is tolerated. Symptoms often occur 15 minutes to 3 hours after eating dairy products. Those who suffer from lactose intolerance lack an enzyme that breaks down lactose. As a result, an intolerance to lactose develops. In this case, however, a food allergy is not, but merely a reaction that is similar to allergy and is called food intolerance. An allergy produces antibodies from the body. This is not the case with intolerance. Allergy-like symptoms occur at the first contact with the incompatible substance. A lactose intolerance is relatively widespread in Germany. Depending on the severity of lactose intolerance in children, it is possible that a smaller amount of lactose will continue to be tolerated.

cow’s milk allergy

A cow’s milk allergy mainly affects toddlers. This allergy is an intolerance of the protein that is contained in the milk. The symptoms can be skin problems as well as a reaction of the gastrointestinal tract or the respiratory tract. Nausea, diarrhea and bloating are particularly common. For most children, a milk allergy disappears by itself. By age 8, this has disappeared in 90%. Such an allergy must be diagnosed by a doctor. It often happens that a cow’s milk allergy occurs simultaneously with an allergy to soy and nuts. Cow’s milk allergy is very common in children. Therefore adults who suffer from diarrhea, nausea and flatulence usually think of it first. As she usually disappears again, she is very rare in adulthood. In most cases, this age is then a lactose intolerance.

Alternatives to milk

Children suffering from lactose intolerance must avoid milk and dairy products altogether. But this is contained in many products. Alternatives include soya, rice, spelled and oat products. Especially for infants, there is “hydrolyzed” food.

As more and more children and adults suffer from lactose intolerance, there are now a large number of different products that contain no milk sugar. These include dairy and dairy products such as cream, quark and cheese as well as chocolate labeled “lactose-free”.

Milk is often used in products that we parents are unaware of. For example, many rolls and croissants are made using milk sugar. Therefore always check the ingredient lists and ask if necessary.

If one suspects that the child is suffering from milk intolerance or lactose intolerance, one should not change the diet without a definitive diagnosis. In the case of suspected lactose intolerance, there are now special lactose intolerance tests for the home, which can detect specific antibodies in the blood by means of a small blood analysis and thus give initial assessments of possible intolerance in case of complaints. In any case, a visit to the doctor is always advisable if lactose intolerance or possible intolerance is suspected.

As a mother of two children, I deal with all topics relating to everyday life with children at Of course, the weight is always in focus. Even in the womb weight of a baby plays a major role and even after birth, it does not lose importance. But on the contrary. Now the health of our children is above all in the hands of the parents. Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

More articles by Lisa Werner. Lisa Werner’s website.

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