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salman1025's avatar

How do you know if your infant has lactose intolerance?

Asked by salman1025 (12 points ) January 5th, 2011

My 19 month old has for most of her life been not fond of milk. She had colic in the first 3 months of her life. And as she gets older its getting harder to get her to drink milk. She refuses to take it while she’s awake and when she is asleep she’ll only drink 3 – 4 ounces. We do occasionally hear gurgling in her stomach while feeding her milk, but we’re not sure if that is just normal sound of liquid in the stomach or if its an allergic reaction.

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8 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“A milk allergy is not the same thing as lactose intolerance, the inability to digest the sugar lactose, which is rare in infants and more common among older kids and adults.

An infant can experience symptoms either very quickly after feeding (rapid onset) or not until 7 to 10 days after consuming the cow’s milk protein (slower onset).

The slower-onset reaction is more common. Symptoms may include loose stools (possibly containing blood), vomiting, gagging, refusing food, irritability or colic, and skin rashes. This type of reaction is more difficult to diagnose because the same symptoms may occur with other health conditions. Most children will outgrow this form of allergy by 2 years of age.

Rapid-onset reactions come on suddenly with symptoms that can include irritability, vomiting, wheezing, swelling, hives, other itchy bumps on the skin, and bloody diarrhea.”

Kids Health

bkcunningham's avatar

@salman1025 just to make sure I’m reading your question correctly, let me ask you this. Are you trying to feed your 19-month-old child a sippy cup or bottle with milk while they are sleeping? If that is correct, that isn’t really healthy. Allowing her to go to sleep with milk isn’t good for her dental health. The extra milk at sleep time, even that small amount, could make her seem to not drink as much during her waking hours. Is she drinking whole milk?

At 19 months, children are usually grazers (eating a bite here and there) and picky eaters (and drinkers). Does she like juice and water? I would think that you or your pediatrician would have recognized an allergy or intolerance to milk at this age. I dunno, call and ask her pediatrician.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My son was diagnosed lactose intollerance. His symptoms was projectile vomiting, colic and gas that would make his little stomach look bloated and feel hard. We switched him to soy milk, but it was even worse. So then I switched him to carnation milk mixed 50/50 with water, which is what every baby in the 50’s was raised on. It worked, so I think the doctors were wrong. He was my second baby that couldn’t drink formula and got switched to Carnation milk successfully.

faye's avatar

My kids are allergic to the protein in milk- casein. A lot of the members of my family are. There is no need to drink milk, there soy milks, rice milks, almond milk. My kids had ear infections tonsillitis, constant runny noses, sick, achy stomachs until we stopped dairy. Now they pick, my son knows he’ll have a runny nose after pizza, my daughter can have whipped cream once ot twice in a row, etc. As babies, my son was colicky, one daughter constipated, and the other daughter had an ear infection at her 6 mo checkup- poor baby.

downtide's avatar

I have an intolerance (not an allergy) to dairy protein too. I get bloating, stomach cramps and nausea or vomiting, anything from one to 12 hours after consuming milk. Soyamilk wasn’t available when I was an infant and my mum had to wean me onto things like pureed fruit at an age far younger than reccommended, simply to stop me from dying of malnutrition. For years we assumed it was lactose intolerance but I found that some things I was okay with, and because I’ve been very lax about avoiding all dairy products, I was able to build up a pattern. Which basically means that for me, dairy products that have been fermented (cheese, yogurt) or boiled, will not make me ill. That’s how my doctor figured out that protein and not lactose was the culprit: boiling milk and fermenting it both cause the protein chains to break down.

I don’t think rice milk would be adequate for a baby, there’s not enough protein in it. It’s basically just starch and water.

faye's avatar

A woman I knew had to mix up some beef broth with supplement for her poor boy- allergic to milk and soy.

YARNLADY's avatar

The best way is to ask the pediatrician. As above, they can sometimes be mistaken, but they will know more about your baby than we do.

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