Very rarely is a baby born with lactose intolerance. Both parents would have to pass their genetics that cause lactose intolerance to their baby. About 90 percent of Asian Americans and about 75 percent of African American, Hispanic American, Jewish, and Native American adults are also lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerant means your body can’t produce enough lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products. The undigested lactose remains in the intestines and causes diarrhea, gas, bloating and other intestinal discomfort.
Premature babies sometimes can’t produce adequate amounts of lactase because of their under developed digestive systems.
Lactose Intolerance Symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
Is lactose intolerance the same as a milk allergy?
No. An allergy is an immune system response which can also be passed on from a parent, while lactose intolerance is a gastro intestinal condition. The symptoms can be similar to those of lactose intolerance such as abdominal pain and diarrhea after consuming milk products.
If your baby develops a dry, itchy rash, itching and swelling of the face, lips, or mouth after consuming dairy products he may be allergic to one of the proteins in cow’s milk rather than being lactose intolerant. So there is a difference.
How to avoid symptoms of lactose intolerance and milk allergies
- Avoid milk and dairy products and foods and supplements that contain lactose. Thanks to recent legislation, products containing milk ingredients and other food allergens must be clearly shown on the labels.
- Try lactose-free dairy products. They may have all the nutrients of regular dairy products without the lactose. Just be sure to read the labels.
- Check with your doctor about trying supplements and probiotics to help ease or prevent the symptoms.