Archive for category Lactose intolerance
This is a model of a lactose molecule. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and it is broken down for use in the body by the enzyme lactase produced by cells of the small intestine.
Some people are born with or can develop a deficiency of the enzyme lactase and they are said to suffer from lactose intolerance because this sugar cannot be be broken down further and therefore is not absorbed. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea after milk or any food containing milk is ingested.
Lactose intolerance is not an allergy. It is quite different from milk allergy.
Treatment is by avoiding lactose and lactose containing products. Often some lactose can be tolerated in the diet.
Young children sometimes develop a temporary lactose intolerance following a bout of gastroenteritis due to damage of the lactase producing cells.
Babies and young children with primary lactose intolerance (the inherited form) should be tested to find out how much lactose they can handle. Sometimes the amount can be increased by giving milk or dairy products little and often. Lactase from yeast can be added to improve absorption even more. Thicker foods such as yoghurts and curds are likely to be better tolerated because they move through the bowel at a slower rate. Lactose-free milks are available but they are less nutritious than cow’s milk.
Secondary lactose intolerance (due to damage to the lining of the small intestine) may need treatment by fluid through a drip if the diarrhoea is very severe. Most doctors advise parents of babies and children with gastroenteritis to carry on with breast milk, formula milk or cow’s milk but, if the diarrhoea is very prolonged, some doctors recommend withdrawing lactose for three weeks after the infection.
The chance of premature babies getting lactose intolerance due to developmental lactase deficiency can be reduced by feeding them half-strength lactose formula or breast milk.
Please read DISCLAIMER by clicking on LEGAL tab above