Lactose Intolerance

By: pilkster
To understand what lactose intolerance are you must first know what lactose is. Lactose is a type of natural sugar that is found in cow's milk and milk products, it is also added to some processed foods, some medications, baby formulas, and candies.

In a child or person that is, lactose intolerant does not digest the lactose properly. It remains in the intestines applying osmotic effects. This pressure pulls fluids and salts into the stomach, which moves very quickly to the large intestines. This causes an amplified level of fluids and salts in the colon and this helps the bacteria to ferment the lactose into hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, and short-chain fatty acids. Hydrogen is one of the gases that are associated with bloating. Hydrogen is very small and it can break out through the walls of the intestine and find its way into the bloodstream, which is then expelled into the lungs.

The fermentation that occurs in the colon can lead to the symptoms that lead to lactose intolerance. The common symptoms are cramping, abdominal bloating, pain and flatulence. Some people also have diarrhea, nausea, rumbling, gaseousness, and in many cases especially children vomiting.

What the doctor will look for before making the decision that your child is lactose intolerant include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, borborygmi, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and malnutrition. If your child is an infant, your doctor can give you a list of baby formulas that are especially designed for babies that are lactose intolerant. Children can still enjoying drinking milk by adding Lactase Enzyme or by drinking soymilk.

The major problem with infants is that they can become malnutrition if they are not consuming enough formula. However, when an infant is lactose intolerant he or she will not normally eat as much and may be prone to vomiting or spitting up what they do eat.

If your child has lactose intolerance then the symptoms will begin within 15 minutes to an hour after consuming milk products.

Not every person that is lactose intolerant has the same degree of symptoms and many times lactose intolerance is often confused with an allergy to milk. The best way to learn if your child has lactose intolerance it would be best to compare the symptoms between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance to see which symptoms are more prevalent with your child. You should also discuss all of your concerns with your child's doctor.
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