Could Your Child Be Lactose Intolerant? 7 Signs To Look Out For

Jun 08, 2018 by apost team

Does your child seem to dislike milk? You might have noticed that your baby gets fussy or that your toddler complains that his stomach hurts after drinking milk. It's easy to brush these issues off - after all, kids tend to be picky. But if your child consistently complains about discomfort after drinking milk or eating dairy products, a bigger issue - lactose intolerance - could be at play.

Many young children are lactose intolerant. Some grow out of it eventually, while others remain lactose intolerant their whole lives. It's important for you to be aware of any food intolerances your child has so that you can help them stay healthy and comfortable. 

Lactose Intolerance: A Quick Overview 

Most people's bodies produce an enzyme called lactase. Lactase is necessary to digest lactose, which is one of the components of dairy foods. But some people don't produce enough lactase to digest lactose. This can lead to severe discomfort after eating foods that contain lactose. While lactose intolerance isn't a dangerous condition, it can be uncomfortable or downright painful. 

How Can You Tell if Your Child Is Lactose Intolerant? 

If your child is lactose intolerant, they'll probably display these symptoms about half an hour after drinking milk or eating dairy products. 

1. Your Child Has Diarrhea 

Undigested lactose tends to cause water retention in the intestines, which can cause watery stools. 

2. Your Child Has Dry Skin or Rashes 

Many lactose intolerant children break out in eczema or rashes after eating dairy products. This symptom is especially common in babies. 

3. Your Child Has Gas 

When undigested lactose sits in the digestive tract, it ferments. This causes gas and burping. 

4. Your Child's Abdomen Swells Up 

A buildup of gas can cause your child's stomach to look bloated and swollen. 

5. Your Child Throws Up or Complains of An Upset Stomach 

Many children with lactose intolerance feel sick after eating dairy products. 

6. Your Child Gets Headaches 

Problems in the digestive tract can affect other parts of the body, too. Some lactose intolerant children complain of headaches after consuming dairy. 

7. Your Child Experiences Abdominal Cramps 

If your child experiences painful cramping in their abdomen after consuming dairy, he or she could be lactose intolerant. 

What Should You Do if You Think Your Child is Lactose Intolerant? 

If your child has the symptoms above, it's a good idea to remove dairy products from his or her diet. Replace dairy with other high-calcium foods like almonds, fish, and soybeans. You may also want to look into enzyme supplements that help lactose intolerant people digest dairy more easily. Of course, it's always a good idea to talk to your child's doctor about your concerns before you make any big changes. 

Do you recognize any of the symptoms of lactose intolerance in your children (or even yourself)? If this information was helpful to you, we'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!