Lactose Intolerance InInfants
Though it is recommended that a baby should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of his/her life to meet all the nutritional requirements for normal and healthy growth, a few infants and especially premature infants experience lactose intolerance. This is a condition in which the body produces insufficient amount of an enzyme called lactase that is required for digesting lactose, a sugar that is present in milk. However, lactose intolerance in infants is quite rare, but challenging nonetheless.
Types Of Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance can be caused due to faulty genetics, family history, gastric infections, as a side effect of diseases like celiac disease or allergy to certain foods. There are two types of lactose intolerance; primary lactose intolerance and secondary lactose intolerance.
Primary lactose intolerance involves a total absence of lactase which is a very critical condition for an infant to survive because of mal-absorption and dehydration caused due to severe diarrhoea. In this case, an infant is born with lactose intolerance.
On the other hand, secondary lactose intolerance is a temporary condition caused due to an injury to the infant’s gut cells which produces lactase. Once the injury is cured the infant can digest lactose, which is milk.
Infants with lactose intolerance always shows the symptoms of stomach ache, loose stools, stomach upset, diarrhoea, frequent gastric reflux, abdominal cramps, bloating, lack of sleep, crying often, low weight gain, irritability and uneasiness.
If the above symptoms are visible 30 minutes to two hours after feeding the baby then he/she is lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a condition which cannot be treated or prevented but can be controlled by choosing lactose-free foods or lactose-free infant formula.
Lactose intolerance is a condition which cannot be treated or prevented but it can be controlled by choosing lactose- free foods or lactose-free infant formula
Different Types Of Formula For Infants
Lactose-Free Formula Food
This is specially designed for the babies born with lactose intolerance! primary lactose intolerance. It is the perfect food source for babies who cannot digest lactose based foods.
Elemental Formula Food
Elemental formula is another option for lactose intolerant infants. This s prepared from protein hydrolysate which is easy to digest and thus provides proper nutrition.
Soya Based Formula Food
This formula can be fed to babies suffering from lactose intolerance. Soya based milk formula is the best option which provides essential nutrients in similar composition as to breast milk or cow’s milk However, this formula should be tried only after consulting with your specialist or paediatric nutritionist.
Gentle Formula Food
This formula contains less amount of lactose, thus is can be recommended for babies with secondary lactose intolerance.