About lactose intolerance
For many children, have a glass of ice cream or a glass of fresh milk at lunchtime, an afternoon of cramps, gas, and diarrhea. If you want more knowledge in health areas you can read in this interesting page of internet bioperspectives.
It is possible that children who have this type of discomfort after eating dairy products have an intolerance to lactose, a condition caused by problems to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk and milk products.
Lactose intolerance occurs when the body makes an insufficient amount of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down lactose into two smaller sugars called glucose and galactose. When there is not enough lactase in the body, lactose does not break down well in the small intestine and passes into the large intestine, where the bacteria ferment and transform it into gases and acids.
This process can cause cramps, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea after 30 minutes and 2 hours of eating any food or drink containing lactose.
In some children, the symptoms are very serious and their digestive system does not tolerate lactose at all. In others, the symptoms are milder and should only reduce the amount of dairy products they consume.
Lactose intolerance can be controlled and the associated stomach discomfort can be alleviated through changes in diet. If you suspect that your child may have a lactose intolerance, call your pediatrician.
Who suffers from lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is more frequent in people of Asian, African, Amerindian and Hispanic descent.
In most people, lactose intolerance is a problem of life. But in some patients there may be a temporary condition that can begin after taking antibiotics or gastrointestinal infections and eventually disappear.
How is it diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose lactose intolerance by a simple test of exhaled hydrogen (or breath test with hydrogen). The person blows into a tube to give a breath sample, and returns to give another sample after drinking a lactose solution or eating a food containing lactose.