Lactose Intolerance In Children

Lactose intolerance is the inability to fully digest lactose, the milk sugar found in dairy products. While it is not usually a serious condition, lactose intolerance requires certain lifestyle changes to avoid symptoms on a regular basis.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Children with lactose intolerance lack sufficient amounts of lactase, an enzyme that helps break down lactose into glucose and galactose. While lactose intolerance is not usually a serious condition, it requires an adherence to certain dietary changes in order to keep symptoms under control.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance may be caused by a digestive disease or injury to the small intestine, reducing the amount of lactase enzyme produced. Usually lactose intolerance develops over several years. Children with lactose intolerance may experience the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas

These symptoms usually occur about 30 minutes to 2 hours after after the consumption of lactose-containing products. The severity of the symptoms depends on the person's age, tolerance level and rate of digestion.

Treatment of Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance can be managed by a modification of diet. Lactase enzyme tablets and liquid are available so that patients can enjoy lactose products without symptoms. There is a wide selection of lactose-free products available. It is important to utilize a combination of these products and obtain the recommended amount of calcium and Vitamin D in the diet.

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