Is Your Child Allergic to Milk or Lactose Intolerant? Here is the Difference Parents Should Know About
There is a big difference between being lactose intolerant and having a milk allergy. It is crucial you understand this to ensure you give your child the best.
If you are cradling a cranky child who has just been fed, a couple of concerns might run through your mind. Is she struggling with trapped air, or perhaps you could be holding her in a better position to aid digestion? As parents, we will run through our checklists and might arrive at a curious question: maybe the reason she’s so irritable is the milk?
So, here’s what you need to know about milk allergies and lactose intolerance symptoms.
Is your child allergic to dairy products?
Young children may often have formula allergies and the last thing you should do is blame lactose intolerance. Because, that is not always the case.
There is a subtle but distinct difference: a milk allergy concerns immunity - the body may view milk as a foreign invader and release antibodies to attack it. While in the case of lactose intolerance, the body is simply unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, your child might experience diarrhoea, bloating and loose stools.
Possible causes of lactose intolerance
There are several conditions that could lead to your child being lactose intolerant. Those who arrived prematurely often have not had enough time to develop the lactase enzyme that breaks down lactose.
Genetics also plays a part, especially if one or both parents are lactose intolerant. Sometimes, after a bout of particularly nasty diarrhoea, your child’s ability to produce lactase may be hindered for a week or two.
Lastly, and only after being diagnosed by a medical professional, your child might be suffering from a digestive disorder.
Signs of milk allergies
There are many symptoms caused by milk allergies. You might already be familiar with minor ones such as gassy tummies or small patches of eczema.
Other common reactions might include colic, hives, and a redness around the anal area. More serious symptoms are uncontrollable crying, failure to gain weight (your child’s weight should double by six months) and excessive throwing up, as well as difficulty swallowing.
Consider switching to a soy-based formula
Among the remedies you might consider, is a switch to soy-based formula. One such option is Isomil Plus. This is a nutritionally complete, lactose-free formula for children with cow’s milk protein allergies, lactose intolerance, galactosemia or on a vegetarian diet.
In fact, a survey of Malaysian mums conducted in 2017 showed that 97 percent of mothers agreed that Isomil Plus helped to manage their children’s milk intolerance issues.
Formulated with a unique vegetable oil for easy digestion and softer stools, there are several reasons to consider this brand. Chiefly, Isomil Plus is supported by 70 clinical studies with over 50 years of proven efficacy in Malaysia.
It is also packed with DHA, Lutein and Natural Vitamin E for brain and eye development. Furthermore, it meets the daily calcium recommended nutrient intake for strong bones (four servings per day at 208mg per serving).
But, take your time and monitor your child
As you transition between various brands to find the right one for your child, do so with care and patience. Take your time and monitor improvement as well. Don’t forget to follow your baby’s lead when it comes to gauging hunger and fullness.
In the end, it’s essential to identify if digestion fussiness is caused by discomfort or a deeper cause like allergies or lactose intolerance. Then you make an informed choice that gives you that all important peace of mind.
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