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Q&A about lactose intolerance with Lactofree's expert and Consultant Paediatric Allergist, Dr Adam Fox - ANSWERS BACK

(68 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-May-11 15:22:43

Do you, your partner of your child suffer from digestive disorders which you think could be related to dairy? This week Lactofree's expert and Consultant Paediatric Allergist Dr Adam Fox is joining us on Mumsnet to answer your questions. Dr Adam Fox has trained in Paediatrics and then Paediatric Allergy in some of the country's leading teaching hospitals including Great Ormond St Hospital, St Mary's and the Royal Free Hospital. He is now a consultant Paediatric Allergist at Guys' & St Thomas' Hospitals as well as an honorary senior lecturer in Paediatric Allergy at King's College London. He also sits on Lactofree's expert Advisory Board, providing regular advice to their lactose intolerant community. Send your questions to Dr Adam Fox before the end of Sunday 15th May and we'll link to his answers from this thread on the w/c 23rd May.

nottirednow Mon 09-May-11 16:29:03

Message withdrawn

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 09-May-11 16:30:42

Oh brilliant!

Dr Fox, my daughter has an allergy to cow's milk protein. She's only 1 and a half and was diagnosed at 6 months after a violent reaction to the first food I gave her (porridge made with milk). So far, she has been tested for everything going and has no other known allergies. Is there a critical period during which children develop allergies or could she suddenly react to something which she has previously been able to eat? She's showing all the signs of growing out of her milk allergy and I'm really hopeful that that might mean she is allergy free one day but wonder if that is unrealistic...


munkiii Mon 09-May-11 17:12:00

Dr Fox

My daughter is 5 months old and has been diagnosed with cow's milk allergy and as such is on Nutramigen. She also has very servere reflux and as such is on a high dose of infacol (2.5ml before feeds) ranitidine and carobel.

My question is really about weaning, we are due to see a dietician alongside her consultant but I wondered what your opinion was on how to challenge her with dairy and whether there are any other associated allergic reactions we should watch out for?

Thank you in advance.

Hi Dr Fox

I suffered with severe allergies to dairy products when I was a child (birth to 7 years old).
I am wondering if this is a hereditary thing and if I am likely to pass the allergy to my child. My husband and I are currently trying to conceive our first. Neither of my parents have any food allergies.

With thanks


Pancakeflipper Mon 09-May-11 17:48:11

Dr Fox - could you please explain how a milk allergy/ intolerance is 'tested'?

Are there many 'medical' tests to do so or do you just wait for reactions like face swelling/ vomit and runny bums?

Ours was 'trial and error' with foods and it was a miserable experience.

Love from Pancakeflipper who has a 2 yr old on dairy-free diet. And an extensive collection of recipes of dairy-free foods.

heliumballoons Mon 09-May-11 17:50:25

Ah I just came here and realised its milk only too. Agree with nottirednow about putting it in the title.

BalloonSlayer Mon 09-May-11 18:04:32

Hello Dr Fox

Is cows' milk protein always present in a mother's breastmilk if she consumes cows' milk?

I ask because I knew my DS1 was allergic to milk (and soya), and his severe eczema improved hugely when I cut out soya and milk from his diet, but I didn't exclude them from mine while breastfeeding him.

When I tried him with cows milk (on a dietitian's advice) at a year old he had an extremely serious reaction, after which he had to carry an epipen. His allergy to milk had obviously got a lot worse in the 7-8 months since he last had cows' milk.

I accept that his allergy probably would not have got worse if I had cut out milk from my diet (although the soya allergy went away), and feel pretty guilty about it.

However, he went on to always react to the smallest trace of milk contamination in any food he was given, yet he would never have a reaction to breastmilk. Why is that?

missslc Mon 09-May-11 18:30:59

Hello Dr Fox

Our son has 'off the scale' allergy to milk ( epipens always at the ready)and I just wondered is the statistic that 80% outgrow it by 5 correct? I am intrigued how you can outgrow an allergy? Is it genetic and does this mean if we have another child there is a good chance he or she will have alleriges- none on my side of the family but husband's mother/family have excema.

Thanks for your time with us all.

mintyneb Mon 09-May-11 18:38:17

Hello Dr Fox,

my 4yo DD is allergic to CMP. It presented itself as projectile vomiting and extreme listlessness after being given small amounts of formula milk as a small baby and then hives on her face after contact with cheese/milk whilst weaning her.

At 1 year old she had her first RAST test with a score of 2. Last year (when she was 3) it had risen to 8 and then in February this year it had gone up to 24.

having been told that it was quite likely that she would outgrow the allergy before starting school, (which is now impossible with September looming fast)I am beginning to wonder if she will ever outgrow it.

Also, will it continue to get worse? She had an accidental exposure to icecream last December where her fingertip touched a dessert and despite having wiped it clean she then rubbed her face and a trace, that must have been left under her fingernail, caused her to have hives all the way across her cheek and forehead and her eye to swell up. 2 doses of Piriton finally got her eye back to normal but I'm worried that this might not be enough if she is accidentally exposed to CMP in the future.

Finally, is there anything to be gained by seeing an allergy specialist? My DD also has cystic fibrosis so we see a hospital dietician every two months but allergies are obviously not their speciality so I'm wondering if there is anything we might be missing out on?

thank you

sphil Mon 09-May-11 18:47:26

hello Dr Fox
My 8 year old son is autistic and has been on a dairy free diet since he was 5 months old, following the advice of a dietician at the time. I know he did some testing but can't remember what type blush. What is the most reliable test for a dairy allergy/intolerance? My problem with reintroducing foods ( he is also sensitive to egg, nuts, gluten and soya ) is that he doesnt have an immediate reaction - it seems to build up over time. Reactions are increased eczema, loose bowels and an increase in autistic behaviours.
Thanks very much

libelulle Mon 09-May-11 20:41:12

Hi Dr Fox,

My 3yo daughter is allergic to dairy, diagnosed at 8 months old.
Between the ages of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 she looked to be gradually outgrowing her allergy - she could tolerate small amounts of cooked milk in baking, and her reactions became less severe (sneezing and streaming nose rather than hives and lip swelling).

However, in the last six months or so her allergy seems to have worsened again - even some foods which only have a 'may contain traces of dairy' warning now provoke consistent and immediate complaints that they make her mouth and throat hurt. Her most recent skin prick test in January was I think 4mm which was similar to previous tests.

Am I right in now feeling gloomily pessimistic about her chances of outgrowing her allergy? The reactions have never been very severe (we do not have an epipen, just piriton), but the fact that they appear to have worsened is presumably a bad sign?

It is a moot point now that she reacts to even tiny traces of dairy, but in the past we have received conflicting medical advice about whether she should be 100% dairy free, or whether we should be 'inducing tolerance' and giving her as much dairy as she is able to consume without reaction. What is your view on this?

We now avoid all dairy like the plague, but I'd also be interested to know how long we now wait until giving her another challenge?

Oddly, she has always had negative skin pricks to butter (and used to eat small quantities without reaction - we have not tried recently) - our registrar was unable to explain this!

Many thanks for any advice that you are able to give.

SerapisBey Mon 09-May-11 20:59:19

Hi Dr Fox,
Like the other mums who've listed, my daughter, now age 8 has a dairy intolerance. It started once I'd stopped breastfeeding age 2 months. Symptoms were vomiting, hives, diarrhoea, severe eczema . After one vaccine she developed a severe egg allergy - couldn't even touch an egg without her whole hand swelling up! I tried an alternative approach, after my GP suggested steroids and paraffin based creams, and went down the homeopathy and restricted diet route. On the whole it's been a successful journey; she can now eat some skimmed milk powder in products, eg biscuits, crisp flavourings without being violently sick, her eczema has vanished,infact she now has beautiful skin, and I can manage her eating some cheese, chocolate, etc if she takes Holland and Barretts Lactase Enzyme tablets prior to dairy. And she can eat egg! Why, oh why doesn't the pharmaceutical companies make these tablets to sell on prescription? They can really change a childs life and coupled with a proactive , non-invasive approach are surely cheaper? What are your views on this? Homeopathic remedies so much cheaper and better than piriton as well! Makes me really cross that GPs don't, on the whole, take dietary issues very seriously......

Julezboo Mon 09-May-11 21:06:43

Hi Dr Fox.

My third son was born 5 weeks early. We had a hellish 12 weeks when he was finally diagnosed with a cows milk protein allergy. I would like to know the best way to tackle weaning when the time comes, do I need a referral to a dietician? my local hospital is a bit rubbish and hv seems to live in space lol so very rarely seen! He is 16 weeks old now and I have read a number of people experience of early weaning helping reflux (which he also has)

Would his early birth be to cause of this allergy? There are no other allergies in the family at all...

nanatothree Mon 09-May-11 21:29:05

Hello Dr Fox
My grandson (3) was diagnosed with CMP allergy at 10months after symptoms that seemed to be present from birth. He was dairy free for a year and then tested with skin prick tests and Raste test. We have been told he has an IgE result of 491 and that this is a severe allergy to CMP so is still dairy free now. He is a very poor sleeper and will wake up itching his body. My question is should he be eating beef? As this has been mentioned by a friend and I must admit we didn't think to omit this from his diet. Is he likely to outgrow it?

PrairieDog Mon 09-May-11 21:47:18

Hello Dr Fox. I have a 2 year old who has been tested for allergies and appears to have none. However she has almost constant diarrhea and I THINK it is milk, soya and egg which cause this.

Is there any way to test for other things she may be intolerant to?

Will strictly excluding all of these from her diet help her to get over the intolerance with time?

Many thanks

Ivette Mon 09-May-11 22:16:57

basically all these allergies happen because human are not designed to digest cows milk lol

addictediam Mon 09-May-11 22:19:00

Why is it so difficult to get referals to see peadiatric allergists and why dont drs know more about allergies in babies?

I was told my 11 day old dd 'just had colic' and i needed to 'stop being so paranoid there is nothing wrong with her' she has a severe allergy to cows milk

addictediam Mon 09-May-11 22:22:18

Ivette that's not really helpfull. My dd reacted to my BREAST MILK because of the dairy I had as well as the formula I tried her on.

rainbowrain Mon 09-May-11 23:21:46

Hi dr fox,
My son breast fed and formula fed when he was born, during this time we noticed a lot of smelly farts and bloated tummy but was told this was normal. 4 months later he was in hospital due to bloody diarrhoea, which was actually just blood and we were never given a conclusive answer as to what this may be due to, but it was suspected that it was cows milk protein intolerance.

My son has since just been on breast milk and mainly dairy free foods. I gave him the odd petit filous to try and with that came the a bit more farting ( not offensive!) which had predominantly stopped since the hospital incident. I'm not sure if this is due to intolerance and what I should do next? He is 1 yr old now, so do I start introducing dairy or not. Would it help build tolerance? I've been to gps but don't seem to get any advice on it.


Likeaninjanow Tue 10-May-11 12:24:34

I have a 3 year old son who is allergic to many things, including CMP. It has been a difficult journey from when we started weaning at 6 months. We have only managed to get epipens after much fighting with health professionals, despite him being anaphylactic to numerous foods and us having to call 999 more than once.

It is now under control somewhat, but I'd really like to know what is being done in the way of research into the causes of such allergies. Can you elaborate on that? Is there funding available? I'm in Scotland, if that makes any difference. Currently we see a paediatrician twice a year at best.

MoreBeta Tue 10-May-11 12:28:46

There seems to be some confusion in people mind about lactose intolerance and general dairy intolerance. There is a huge difference.

I dont want to step on Dr Fox's toes but I believe he is coming to talk about lactose intolerance. I am a coeliac and as a result am intolerant to lactose which is the naturally occuring sugar in milk. I am not intolerant to milk protein which is what many of you appear to be talking about when you say you or your child are dairy intolerant.

As the Lactofree website notes, allergy to cows milk protein is often confused with lactose intolerance. They are quite different things.

I can drink Lactofree milk which is a brand that can be bought in most supermarkets and is ordinary cows milk that has been pre-treated with an enzyme called lactase that breaks down the lactose. A baby or child or adult who is intolerant to milk protein could not drink Lactofree milk as it still has milk protein in it.

If you or your child are intolerant to lactose you can also buy lactase and treat dairy products yourself but obviously buying pre-treated Lactofree milk is a lot more convenient. It is a good product and tastes a lot nicer than soya milk and oat milk that i have also tried.

Obvioulsy, I defer to Dr Fox if any of what is written above is wrong.

My son (aged 5) is almost certainly autistic, probably Aspergers or on the high functioning end of the spectrum (currently awaiting diagnosis) and has soiling problems. My GP shrugged this off when I took him recently. He doesn't have extreme reactions but having read that there are links between soiling and behaviour in autistic children and dairy I am keen to find out if we can do any allergy testing. He loves yogurt, cheese, milk and hates most of the dairy-free alternatives!

Can he be tested to ascertain whether it is due to dairy intolerance? How long does a child need to have a dairy-free diet before noticing a difference with regard to these problems if dairy is the cause?

rockinhippy Tue 10-May-11 12:49:19

Hi smile

I've a question - both DD & myself are lactose intolerant, neither of us were born that way

So I'm curious if there are any definitive links to either antibiotic use & lactose intolerance, or Heliobacter Pylori infection & lactose intolerance??

I ask as I've noticed the beginning of & worsening of DDs sensitivities, lactose included after antibiotics, more than just the usual tummy problems associated with Anti B's

I've also recently been diagnosed with H.Pylori, (new GP) which I have probably had for years & years, but never previously tested for, just fobbed off with IBS/GERD etc & now wonder if there is any possible link there too??

Thank you smile

Dr Fox, what do you think about Guernsey milk and the theory that form of casein it contains is less intolerable to humans than the form of casein in Friesian and Holstein milk? (For the benefit of other MNers, who may not know what I am talking about, almost all dairy-farmed animals produce milk in which the beta-casein is predominantly A2, except for Friesian and Holstein cows, in which the beta-casein is predominantly A1.   Virtually all commercial milk, and milk products, are from Friesian and Holstein cows.  Guernsey milk contains 90% or more A2 beta casein. There are studies linking A1 beta casein with various chronic conditions, and demonstrating a reduction in these issues when dairy consumption is of A2 beta casein milk.)
"It is interesting to note that a factor in regular milk, BCM7, is released when A1 beta casein is digested.  BCM7 is a strong opioid that can affect gut processes and mucus production – causing some allergic or intolerance symptoms.  BCM7 can also stimulate skin reactions and the release of histamine.    A2 milk does not produce BCM7 on digestion."
on this website: (I would have liked to find a more mainstream source)

My brother was a typically sickly, snotty, asthma-y, weedy kid in the 60s and 70s.  As an adult he realised that milk made him ill, and cut it out of his diet.  He is now a farmer and has access to unhomogenised milk from a single herd of pure-bred Guernsey cows, and has discovered that he can safely drink their milk with no ill-effects, whereas 'conventional' milk still makes him ill.

I would also like to know whether, for someone with a dairy intolerance that is quality-of-life-affecting, rather than life-threatening, it is better to totally exclude dairy products or to consume them only in amounts that are small enough not to set off a reaction.


RitaMorgan Tue 10-May-11 14:58:44

MoreBeta - I believe lactose intolerance is incredibly rare in babies/young children though, where CMP intolerance is very common, so few people will have experienced lactose intolerance in their children. The question does ask about dairy problems in general.

simpson Tue 10-May-11 15:46:28


My 3yr old DD is severely intolerant to dairy, soya, oats & barley.(sickness, diarrea (sp) or severe constipation, bloating, wind etc)

We (me,pead & dietician) have always thought she is lactose intolerant but she did not tolerate lacto free milk......

She has now been referred to C&W hospital after being seen at our local hosp since she was 8mths old.

As we have not tried her with any dairy etc for over a yr we were told (by dietician) to try her again as C&W hosp would want to know latest reaction etc...

So a couple of wks ago I gave her a tiny amount of cheese on toast (dairy/soya free bread) reaction!!!

She has now has cooked/baked cheese a couple of times with no reaction (tiny amounts though)

Yesterday I gave her a margarine which had milk in reaction grin

Basically where do I go from here?? What is the best way of re-introducing dairy into her diet?? And over what period of time??

Would it be too much to give her a small drink of milk or a fromage frais yogurt etc....or am I best to cook with it (ie scrambled eggs with milk in etc)

TheProvincialLady Tue 10-May-11 15:49:19

My boys (4 and 2) are both lactose intolerant, which was diagnosed by an allergist/dietiician team at the hospital.

My question is, to what extent is it a good plan to keept trying them with small amounts of 'normal' dairy (ie not lactofree, which they both do very well on)? Should I be trying to build up a tolerance by giving small amounts of lactose regularly, or is this not likely to make any difference? Their symptoms are stomach cramps, diarrhoea etc.

I didn't know that you could treat dairy products with lactase from Holland and Barrett! Does it work on plain yoghurt and cream, the two products I would like the lactofree range to include?

MoreBeta Tue 10-May-11 16:02:56

Dr Fox I would like lactofree cream and plain yoghurt too. If you can lobby the manufacturers of Lactofree to do some i am sure they would sell well. Having said that I have never seen the Lactofree cheese or fruit yoghurts in my supermarket - only the milk.

TheProvincialLady - if it is any help I use Alpro Soya Cream which is just fine in cooking instead of single cream and I even mixed a little cornflour with soya cream to thicken it just enough to make a nice lactofree lemon sylabub. Gelatne might have been better.

If its any help creme fraiche and sour cream have less lactose in. You can get other lactose free dairy products on certain web based retail sites too if you Google.

Katiebeau Tue 10-May-11 16:18:34

MoreBeta - we found Lactofree Cream this week (or my amazing Daddy did!). Brilliant for DD and Eton Mess which she hovered up with the rest of us.

My daughter hardly misses out on anything been lactose intolerant post gastic bug but Q to Dr Fox. We know she is still intolerant 1 year on (she is 2 now) as she stole some dairy pudding recently, 1 spoonful, a lot of mess an hr later!

How long should we exclude dairy or try little bits every few months??

dietstartstmoz Tue 10-May-11 16:45:46

Hello Dr. Fox,
Can you please advise us? Our DS2 aged 3.8 was diagnosed with autism approx 2 months ago now. He has always had very loose bowel movements, usually 3/4 times a day, and he has been tested for coeliac disease and was negative. I have been informed of the sunderland test through MN, and have requested a pack but haven't sent DS's sample off yet. (It is a urine test that looks at the amount of peptides in the urine, costs £60 and is done by an autism research centre at sunderland uni).
We know dairy free diets can help lots of children with ASD, and we have cut down on the dairy and DS is now doing more solid bowel movements, but not quite there yet, some can still be very soft and runny.
Can we request any similar sort of testing on the NHS? Our Dr and paed are not interested in testing further, we have not have a referral to a dietician. We are trying (without success) to toilet train DS, and he is Ok with his bladder but his bowel movements are causing us problems, and the ASD doesn't help. if he did solid poos it would be easier. Any advice please?

libelulle Tue 10-May-11 19:07:39

Maybe mumsnet could advise about the scope of the q&a? Granted the blurb at the top talks mainly about digestive issues and intolerance, but since Dr Fox is in fact a paediatric allergist, it seemed reasonable enough to ask about dairy allergies. If you could clarify, that would save both our and Dr Fox's time asking him questions that he isn't intending to answer. Many thanks!

MoreBeta Tue 10-May-11 19:15:12

katiebeau - where did you fird lactofree cream?

I have heaed that coeliacs can go back to lactose after a while once their gut has healed but woud like to hear Dr Fox on that point.

Hello, this is a timely webchat for me!

My DD2 appears to have some sort of dairy intolerance. She was being sick in the night from excess phlegm for about 6 weeks (since being weaned onto solids basically) and the only thing that stopped it was cutting out dairy (well, obvious dairy products). She is breast fed and as far as I know my milk isn't effecting her, it certainly isn't making her sick. I have several questions, feel free to answer the most pertinent/useful:

How do I get my GP to take me seriously? He doesn't seem to believe in dairy intolerance (amongst other things he doesn't believe in!)

How do I know if it is a CMP or lactose intolerance and does that effect the things you can/can't have or whether they are cooked etc.

The other day I accidentally gave her an omelette with parmesan and she came up in hives around her mouth, having previously had it at the beginning of weaning with no such effect. Does staying off dairy make the intolerance worse?

I'm fed up with playing food detective and have no idea where to go from here in terms of reintroducing dairy to see if it has an effect. I wish my GP would be more helpful.

Parsnippercy Wed 11-May-11 18:43:44

My (breastfed) DS has suspected allergy to cow's milk products after developing eczema at 4 months and reacting with vomiting and hives when weaning with dairy products. His eczema is much improved after I cut all dairy out of my diet and we have had no repeat of the vomiting/ hives with any other foods. I am hoping that he will grow out of the allergy, as I'm told this is common. If he does, what are the chances of him becoming lactose intolerant during this time? Am I at risk of becoming lactose intolerant by cutting out dairy for 6 months?
Many thanks.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-May-11 20:45:24

To Libelulle and all those who have asked us to clarify the scope of this Q&A and whether Dr Fox is open to questions about allergies beyond lactose intolerance. We're sorry it's taken us some time to get back on this but wanted the answer to come straight from the horse's mouth so there was no further confusion. We received this message from the folks at Lactofree this afternoon:

Lactofree would like to advise that Dr Fox will be answering all questions on digestive difficulties related to dairy - in particular the confusion between lactose intolerance, cow's milk allergy, and other often misdagnosed related conditions.

Feel free to submit your questions on any of the above. We look forward to your questions

The Q&A will close at midnight on Sunday 15 May so do post your questions to Dr Adam Fox before then.

ronshar Thu 12-May-11 21:15:28

Hello Dr Fox.

My main question is how on earth do I get my children to see an allergist?
My GP surgery refuses to send any of my children to have allergy test.
My DD1, 11, has a nut allergy, to which one and how bad is a mystery so we live in fear!
My DD2, 6, has a dairy allergy which seems to be getting worse rather than better with age. Again we dont know what she is allegic to so we avoid all dairy.
My DS, 2, has had problems from birth which led me to cut all dairy from my diet as I was exclusively breast feeding. He wouldn't tolerate nutramigen. He is unable to tolerate anything with dairy in. He doesnt come out in hives but it just goes straight through him, he ends up with extremely smelly, loose bowels.

I dont go to the doctors because they are not interested in doing anything to help us!

What can I do to try and find out what exactly is wrong with my children?

InAStateOfReflux Thu 12-May-11 21:55:15

Hello there Dr Fox!

My daughter was diagnosed as lactose intolerant at around 10 weeks, and was prescribed lactase enzyme (colief) to have at breast feeds as well as lactose free formula for bottle feeds (breastfeeds were very traumatic experiences most of the time). My GP was initially reluctant to prescribe these things as she was gaining weight well, but after the dramatic difference in her reaction to my milk was observed by the health visitor after having had the colief, as well as how different she reacted to normal formula compared to lactose free, he agreed to make a referral. However whoever he spoke to (not sure who, either a dietitian or a paediatrician) said that they don't tend to test for lactose intolerance any more, and the diagnosis is based on the symptoms and history, so agreed in the end to take mine and the health visitor's word for it.

Is this true? It seems a shame that there is no way to definitively test for it. I am sure that my GP was never very convinced. Miraculously, my daughter very suddenly grew out of her symptoms at 12 weeks - I would occassionally trial her without the colief if we happened to run out unexpectedly to see if she could manage without it. Every time this led to screaming, but one time it didn't, and thereafter she was fine without it. The difference was dramatic. I haven't tried her with normal formula yet as apparently cows milk has more lactose than breast milk, but now breastfeeding is less traumatic I am back to exclusively breastfeeding now anyway so this is not so much of an issue.

We had to go through 10 weeks of having a very unhappy screaming baby who was clearly in pain to get the right stuff prescribed - breastfeeding was a nightmare experience for me and I very nearly gave up, but now she is over her problems it is a dream. I have read that this transient lactose intolerance can be a common cause of "colic" in babies. It could end up being a big barrier to breastfeeding if it is not recognised and treated correctly I would imagine, as it was to me. Why can it not be tested for? Why do GPs not recognise the problem and take it seriously? Or, if they do not have the specialist knowledge, why do they not make appropriate referrals more readily? If this lactose intolerance is common, then it should be recognised so that families can be supported in continuing to breastfeed, and reassured that in many cases babies can grow out of it (although I know this is not always the case).

Also can I ask what advice you may have for me in how I should go about weaning in my daughter's case?

Many thanks.

minimop Fri 13-May-11 10:17:08

Hi, My daughter is three and a half and has had loose bowels movements ever since we took her off Aptimil and put her onto organic cows milk. She also has a bloated tummy and I just put this down to being a toddler but now I think the two are linked. She has been allergy tested which have come back negative and she is a good weight and height for her age. However, she has been clean and dry for a year but she suffers from terrible wind and so often soils her knickers when she passes wind which really upsets her as she seems to have no control over it. I have been advised to start eliminating foods to try and see what it is that's upsetting her but this could be a long process. I am starting with milk and if there's no change in a month, have been told to cut out all dairy. Is there no faster, more accurate way of doing this? It's so frustrating....

saffrone Fri 13-May-11 14:53:10

I have a DD age 6 with low level (1 on blood test scale 1-5) milk allergy and megacolon, treated with movicol paed since age 1. We tried lactofree milk, cheese spread and yogurt last year to little outward effect so stopped after 6 months. She has since developed asthma and hayfever and eczema worsened. Additionally nut allergic.

Is it likely to be helpful to completely exclude dairy from her life?
since all we did before was replace some elements, and generally minimise her intake of regular dairy products?
Thank you

flamencogirl Fri 13-May-11 16:53:25

I have ulcerative collitis, which is helped by a dairy free diet

I am now 11 weeks pregnant and on a dairy free diet, though I do it lactofree yoghurt cheese and milk. I am on the equivalent of 1200mg of calcium tablets per day (Adcal D3) for low bone density. Will this all be providing enough calcium for the pregnancy

Hi Dr Fox,

Sorry for the long post, once I started I couldn't stop!

I have 3 DD's 2 of which appear to have some form of dairy intolerance.

DD1 has had problems with dairy since birth, she was a crying, screaming shouty mess until I cut diary completely out of my diet (she was EBF), when she became a calm and placid baby. (My DH developed a dairy intolerance in his 30's so the diet change was not too difficult!) We had several challenges whilst she was small with the same screamy shouty baby result. She was weaned with nutramigen and has been skin prick tested for a dairy allergy but with no positive result.

As she got older we were advised to reintroduce dairy which for a year or 2 she seemed to tolerate, then after she had been continent for a year she became constipated which soiling and unrinary incontinence The constipation is much much worse after any dairy (birthday parties etc) where she can be rolling around her bed allnight with tummy ache. We then have weeks trying to get her bowel back on track. (She has been seen by the paed continence team).

However we are now wondering if her intolerance is worsening as the frequency of constipation is increasing (she has 3 sachets of paed. moivicol a day with a firm-ish result (sorry if tmi)), and without any obvious dietary changes i.e. no obvious dairy (we have recently also removed goat cheese and goat butter, which she did previously tolerate). What would be the first food group to exclude to see if she has an additional intolerance? I ask as I understand soya is closely associated but we have been reluctant to do so until now as it is a replacement in so many of the products she can eat!

DD3 also seems to react go dairy with ezcema patches behind her knees and in her elbows when I have dairy, and has a slower poo transit time (but not constipation Yet!). She seemed to have the same bowel/ shouty baby issues initially (she is now 23mths) she is bf 2x day as she does not yet have milk (she does have goats cheese and goat butter). Would it be advisable to keep her dairy free (ish) or challenge her a little more and slowly reintroduce dairy?

To top it all our other DD has CF and has to have a high fat diet!! Food and meal planning is already a nightmare in our house!!!!

janeaddams Fri 13-May-11 18:37:42

Just a cheery message to say my two are now 11 and 8 and have both outgrown their once severe intolerance to dairy.

Didn't sleep through till they were both were 18 mth old, hives, projectile vomit of any dairy, all the gastro drugs mentioned below.

They do grow out of it.

Think it might be hereditary though as my mother claims I was like that as a small child too but there was no name for it back in the 1960s

jackie83 Fri 13-May-11 20:41:33

Hi Dr Fox
I'm not sure if you'll really be able to help with this as it's really more a question about colief.
My DS was born 4 weeks early and seemed to be very unsettled and uncomfortable after breastfeeding. He had cramping and very bad wind that infacol, gripe water etc, just didn't seem to help. Feeding times were very hard and emotionally draining and at 6 weeks I finally switched to formula. His symptoms didn't change much and my HV and GP were of no help, so i started looking on the internet, I read somewhere that colief was good for those type of symptoms and that premature babies will quite often react to lactose due to immature digestive system so I decided to try it.
There did seem to be a big difference and he was much happier. My problem now is trying to wean him off it. The instructions say it should be fine to wean them off it at 3 to 4 months as their digestive system learns to cope with lactose, however he's now 5 months and everytime i've started reducing the amount he seems very uncomfortable again, however he's also showing symptoms of silent reflux so GP gave us infant gaviscon to try and that has made things better.
How do I know if he definitely has a lactose intolerance rather than it just being something else (eg reflux)?
I'm scared to stop the colief completely as he seems to be uncomfortable when i try to reduce the amount given, especially for the first few days. Will his system learn to cope if I persevere with weaning him off it and get used to lactose or is it better to just keep up with the colief and keep him off lactose completely?

iris66 Sat 14-May-11 19:00:27

why, oh why, when so many children have a dairy intolerance/allergy is a cow based product the only freely available alternative to breast milk. Lets face it, cows milk is actually for cows. Why are paediatricians not pushing for the development of a formula that is nutritionally sound and not based on an animal product? (I'm not vegetarian btw)

moonstorm Sat 14-May-11 19:06:24

Sorry if this is a silly question (?)

Ds1 (3) often has loose bowel movements, it just seems normal to him. He is small for his age (always has been) and has a bloated tummy, but is progressing well in all other areas. Could loose stools be a sign of intolerance in the absence of other symptoms? He was 5 weeks prem and ebf apart from the first week where I had to wean him off formula (grr at hospital pushing formula more than they needed).

Ds2 (6 months) has just started being weaned. He has always had greenish poos, but now they are thick, mucusy and he is in pain with wind, which has never happened before. Could this be a sign of intolerance as well? (He has had little bits of cheese/ egg). The green poos have been passed off as 'one of those things' by HV (which it may be).


RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 15-May-11 22:22:53

It's your last chance to send in a question to Dr Adam Fox and we'll be sending them all over to him in the morning. As soon as the answers are back, we'll be linking to a transcribed Q&A from this thread.

Mitzycat Sun 15-May-11 22:23:10

Dear Dr Fox, I noticed early on that my daughter had a reaction to some whole milk recipes. Anything with a mix of flour and milk (cheese sauce etc) brought on particuarly dirty nappies although it didnt seem to cause any pain. My daughert is now nearly 2 and I am having trouble trying to introduce cows milk as a normal drink for her. She eats probiotic yoghurts, rice puddings made with whole milk and custard without any side effects, but still has a problem with cheese sauce and drinking milk on its own. I always heat her milk to make it easier for her, but am at a loss as to know how to get over this, whether she will grow out of this seeming 'intolerance' or if there is something else I should be concerned about. Any help would be very much appreciated, thank you.

Just popped in to see if any response yet? we;ve obviously kept poor Dr Fox busy grin

dietstartstmoz Fri 27-May-11 16:24:13

Also wondering if there were any answers back yet? i'll keep an eye out

nanatothree Wed 01-Jun-11 12:22:02

Looking forward to hearing from Dr.Fox.... sometime!

BlameItOnTheBogey Fri 10-Jun-11 10:49:29

MNHQ - Any responses to this yet?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-Jun-11 12:52:44

Horrah ! the answers are now back - sorry for the delay but there were rather a lot of questions to send over. Here's the full transcribed Q&A

Adam Fox Q&A

allhailtheaubergine Fri 10-Jun-11 19:13:11

How did I miss this??!

TheProvincialLady Fri 10-Jun-11 19:19:50

He didn't answer my question. This is the only time I have ever asked a qustion on one of these things.

allhailtheaubergine Fri 10-Jun-11 19:32:21

I didn't find it in time to ask a question, but found the answers to other peoples questions very useful.

TheProvincialLady Fri 10-Jun-11 19:58:00

Not as interesting as you wuld have found te answer to my question, had it been answered. Mine was fascinating, easily the best.

simpson Fri 10-Jun-11 20:48:47

my question wasn't answered either sad

RunsWithScissors Fri 10-Jun-11 22:26:25

I found this really helpful. Thank you (and dr fox) for this thread.

Definitely an interesting webchat, and fairly informative, but Oh! isn't it frustrating when the 'interviewee' doesn't quite answer your question, and you can't ask for clarification?! Dr Fox seemed to contradict himself in his answer to my question about different milk proteins.

Very pleased, though, that (a) it's OK to slip up on the DF diet if the child tolerates it, and (b) he did not push Lactofree in his answers.

allhailtheaubergine Sat 11-Jun-11 09:30:14

What was your question TPL?

And what was the contradiction PC?

InvaderZim Sat 11-Jun-11 14:00:26

I didn't see when the call for questions came up, but this is by far the most helpful thing I've read regarding cow's milk protein allergy in infants, including the difference between intolerance (milk, not lactose - am lactose intolerant do already knew about that!) and allergy.

Now I know how to proceed with weaning and what to ask the doctor about.

Thanks Dr Fox!

TheProvincialLady Sat 11-Jun-11 18:02:07

I wanted to know whether trying to introduce small amounts of lactose to try and build up some tolerance in my boys was a good idea, ie whether it would encourage their bodies to create their own lactase, or whether it would just produce nasty symptoms with no benefit.

However, I took someone's advice to try lactase from the health food shop and it has been brilliant. They have a couple of capsules emptied onto a spoon, and then they can eat whatever I am cooking. It is such a relief to be able to make one dish without separating out a separate part to put no cheese on, or use lactofree cheese (which is a great product but not the tastiest cheese).

niniane Mon 13-Jun-11 19:33:39

Can't believe I missed this. Can we get him back?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 15-Jun-11 15:13:25

Thanks for all the feedback - we'll definitely look at inviting him back for a live webchat next time so you're able to respond to his answers. We'll keep you posted on this.

Irenia Sat 05-Nov-11 19:13:14

Hello, and thank you for being here to help us!
I live in Romania and my 3 and a half years old son was diagnosed with milk allergy at seven months, when I first tried to give him yogurt. His Specific IgE was 5 when he was one, 8 when he was 2 and 59 when he was 3 years old.
Here, in Romania, no doctor knows why this value is bigger and bigger... his allergologist told me he had never seen a value like this (59) in his entire career.
Is there any conection between this value and the chance to outgrow this allergy? I mean, the bigger this value is, the smaller are the chances to get rid of this problem?
I tried a homeopath treatment and we reached 37 kU/L in only 3 months, but after another three improvement... Should I stop this treatment?
What can you tell me about Intercron, because I found it mentioned in an "desensitisation programme" here, on this site. Is this some kind of treatment for the allergy?
And my final question is: my son had two crisis with breathing difficulties (rest of the crisis were with allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, oedemas, red itchy spots, vomit, due to very very small doses) . These two breathing crises pased only with Hemisuccinat Hidrocortyzone 25mg intravenous. Is the existance of those two crisis an indicator of the fact he will never get better?
Sorry, please, forgive me for writing so much, but there's no specialist here, in Romania, able to answer my questions!!!! Please, doctor, help me with some answers!

LackaDAISYcal Wed 16-Nov-11 20:16:00

Hi Irenia, this is an old thread from the dates of previous posts and your query probably won't be answered. If you start a new thread with a quick description of your query in the title, you will get some advice from other forum users.
Welcome to mumsnet if this is your first post smile

Penelopepitstop1 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:17:55

Hello Rachel I am a new user to mumsnet and have picked up the questions about dairy intolerance. How can I see dr fox replies or where else cani get advice on dairy intolerence. Regards Penny

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