Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Lactose Intolerance In Children

I had half expected at least one of my children to be lactose intolerant as I am but when Isabelle was a new born it never crossed my mind. Until however she started showing symptoms.

For the first few weeks Isabelle was just such an amazing baby she was so happy and chilled. Then it was like a button had been pressed, she changed over night. After the first five days I had to stop breast feeding as Isabelle wasn't latching on correctly. I will do another blog post on this as I want to share what happened at the time. We switched to formula and everything was fine for the first week and a half. 

Her cry then changed to one which we had never heard before, she was in pain. We did the classic bicycle legs but she became constipated and was projectile vomiting a few times after every feed to the point were we started to worry if she was actually putting on weight. We took her to the doctors and they advised it was probably just reflux (my friends who have babies with actually reflux would not appreciate it being called 'just reflux' but anyway) and Isabelle was prescribed infant gaviscon to try.
She was on it for 10 days and it made no difference and if anything things were getting worse she now had lose stools too.

We went back to the doctors and you know when you see a GP who just gets you and your child and it's just an instant relief? Well that's what happened. The GP prescribed lactose free formula and over night Isabelle was like a different baby. No more crying in pain, no loose stools, no violent vomiting and she was suddenly sleeping much better too.

Fast forward six months later and we had begun thinking about the weaning stage and not knowing how to do this with Isabelle being lactose intolerant. It may sound simple but when you look on packets the amount of products that have lactose in is pretty shocking. We were put in touch with a dietitian who we saw once a month and we basically had to slowly introduce lactose in to Isabelle's diet and note any reactions. This was definitely the best way of doing it because by the time she turned 18 months she was eating the same nearly all of the things we were with no real issues.

Myself and Isabelle symptom wise now are very similar. As long as we don't eat too much food containing lactose we are fine. For example I cannot eat an adult size yogurt or 2 slices of cheese on toast. Isabelle cannot eat too much cheese either. Isabelle is five in June and we find it a lot easier to buy lactose free items now than when we were weaning. It is the same with almond milk and the other milk substitutes that weren't so popular in 2012. We were recommended not to cut it completely out of her diet though, as long as she's not ill she's fine to carry on as normal. 

Since starting school though she is suddenly suffering from constipation and all though this is not a common symptom of lactose intolerance it is possible. 

Charlie has never shown any symptoms but it did not concern us when he was born as we would have known what to do second time round. Do you or anyone you know have lactose intolerance?

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