Temporary lactose intolerance can come and go.
Has your baby had a sickness bug recently? You may find become sensitive to cows milk for a while.
Known as secondary or acquired lactose intolerance, it’s quite common for babies to become sensitive to dairy products for a while after a tummy bug.
How does temporary lactose intolerance happen?
To digest the natural sugar, lactose, in dairy foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt we use an enzyme called lactase.
During an episode of gastroenteritis it’s possible your child may have reduced levels of this enzyme for a short period.
What are the signs?
If your baby or child has the following symptoms after drinking milk it’s possible they may not be digesting diary as well as they did:
- tummy aches
- excess wind and bloating
- loose stools / diarrhoea
- persistent nappy rash
Keep an eye on symptoms as you make any change to their diet.
Breastfed babies – continue feeding your baby. Cut down or remove dairy from your diet. See our article on dairy free calcium.
Bottle fed babies – discuss a lactose free formula with your doctor
Weaning babies & older children – Try reducing the amount of dairy for 2 weeks after a sickness bug to see if that helps the digestive symptoms. the best approach is to completely cut out all dairy, but for some children, just reducing the amount may help.
Temporary lactose intolerance should resolve itself, but if you’re worried contact your GP.
Anna Mapson supports busy parents to get family nutrition right, taking away the stress if feeding your family. In Bristol or online via video call
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