Prevalence of Lactose Intolerance in Infants

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Lactose intolerance can be defined as the experience of numberless GI symptoms followed by consumption of food items that contains lactose. Lactase is an enzyme found in human body which helps in breaking and digesting lactose found in milk and dairy products. Lactose intolerance is therefore the leading prevalent intestinal malabsorption distress for which the consumption of milk and its products needs to be limited. In rarest of the cases, it can largely hamper the basic quality of life.

The clinical Symptoms of acute lactose intolerance:-

The severity of lactose intolerance differs from individual’s ability to digest lactose and the quantity of lactose taken .Usual symptoms associated can be bloating, abdominal cramping, excessive flatus and diarrhoea. It occurs due to formation of excessive fluids and gas followed by ingestion of lactose containing products. In most cases, the symptoms subside or completely disappear by the age of 3. In the rarest of the cases, Congenital lactase deficiency (CLD) is noticed which involves lactase enzyme activity is completely absent or very sluggish since birth.

Managing Lactose Intolerance:-

A lactose intolerant individual cannot be termed as allergic to milk and other dairy products, as the choice of food product containing ranges and proportion of lactose content is also considered. For instances, dairy products like cheese and yogurts are most likely to be well tolerated by the infants. To be safe, It is important to choose lactose-free milk products available widely or lactase drops which help in better absorption of milk and other dairy products.

Bottom line:-

  1. Most of the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance wean off by the age of 3.
  2. It is important to introduce small portions of dairy products to check the prevalence of lactose intolerance.
  3. Beware of the hidden sources of lactose like salad dressings, candies, chocolate mix, cream, breads etc.
  4. Feed your infant small portions of such food items at one go.
  5. Restricting lactose rich products might not be the solution.
  6. Combination of foods might help in counteracting the sensitivity effect of lactose rich foods.
  7. Complete cessation of dairy products can hamper overall development of infants and can lead to severe calcium, magnesium and vitamin D deficiency in future.
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