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Secondary Lactose Intolerance - Help!

(9 Posts)
MrsLTH Mon 05-Sep-11 11:59:58

Hi there

I have been mix feeding breast and cow and gate number 1 for a few months with no problems. However my 5 month old DS has had diarrhea for the last 10 days (approx 12 dirty nappies per day, some v small however)with no sign of improvement. I have had him checked over at the GP and A+E and they have both said he seems totally fine in himself. THe doc at A+E suggested a tempoarary lactose intolerance. Does anyone have any experience of this? Do I need to follow a lactose free diet? I have bought some SMA lactose free fomula but have read soya can damage thier reproductive systems...
Any help gratefully received


organiccarrotcake Mon 05-Sep-11 22:07:36

Temporary lactose intolerance is not uncommon after a tummy upset and you may need some meds to counter it in your breastmilk. Kellymom has some good info:

You following a lactose free diet will make no difference - you'll still make lactose in your milk. This is different to cow's milk protein intolerance which you can eliminate from your diet (but won't help here).

Soya milk / soya based formulas can have an estrogen effect which isn't healthy and should be avoided unless there's no other option, especially in little babies. But it's a low risk so if it needs to be used, go ahead.

In this case can you go back to exclusively breastfeeding for another month? You may need some meds for the lactose but it will be the best thing to heal his gut after a tummy upset, and would avoid you having to expose him to soya. If this isn't possible, the soya milk risk IS LOW so if you need it then it's better to do that than continue to upset his tummy - but I would have thought that the meds to allow him to tolerate the lactose may have a better effect.

MrsLTH Tue 06-Sep-11 09:52:41

Thanks for this, so are there medicines available for him (rather than me) to take to help his digestion? I will make sure I ask the doctor about this

narmada Tue 06-Sep-11 10:07:33

I agree with Organiccarrotcake. He can have lactase enzyme (brand name colief but there may be others) which replaces the lactase he is currently not able to make in sufficient quantities. I think that would be a far easier option than giving him SMA LF whihc he mightn't like anyway as it tastes a bit wierd IMHO. SMA LF is made from c ow's milk I think, not soy, but I could be wrong about that.

Seona1973 Tue 06-Sep-11 13:24:29

Sma LF is not soya milk, it is cows milk based with the lactose broken down. Colief could be useful as it will break down lactose in your breastmilk as well as for using in formula.

MrsLTH Fri 09-Sep-11 13:56:33

Thanks all, I have been back to the GP and he has referred us to a Gastro specialist but stongly suspects a lactose/cows milk intolerance. He has prescribed Cow and Gate Pepti Jnr which DS seems to love. Probably as it seems really sweet to me and tastes like Horlicks! I have decided to give him this exclusively for a while rather than just for top ups as the situation was getting worse not better. I dont really want this to be a long term option for milk but we will see how it pans out. He has been on it for 24 hours now. The frequency of dirty nappys has not got better but the colour has improved (yellow now rather than green) and they are less runny/mucusy so I guess that is good. In the meantime I am expressing my milk to keep up my supply so I can go back to BF if possible. Does anyone know how long it takes little ones (he is 5 months) guts to heal after a temporary lactose intolerance, I am impatient!

RitaMorgan Fri 09-Sep-11 14:24:32

Does the Dr suspect lactose intolerance or cow's milk protein intolerance? They are two quite different things.

I would think the best thing for healing his gut would be exclusive breastfeeding, maybe trying colief for the lactose intolerance. If it is a cow's milk intolerance then exclusive breastfeeding with you cutting dairy out of your diet would be the best solution. I would be very wary of swapping breastmilk for a specialist formula without speaking to an expert.

Frequent yellow nappies is quite normal in an ebf baby - maybe the lactose intolerance is over now anyway?

MrsLTH Fri 09-Sep-11 15:29:15

He said he thought it was an intolerance but doesnt know at this stage what to. I had cut out all dairy/lactose and soy from my diet for a week andexclusively breastfed but it didnt seem to do anything.. while I was breastfeeding he was having 12-15 dirty nappies a day with the poo being like green water with lots of jelly like mucus, no where near normal for him (he used to have one big yellow poo every one or two days, it was runny but not watery and no mucus) it was too much for me to take seening the horrible nappies
and not being able to do anything which is why I have switched to the formula. I will go to the HV on Monday and discuss maybe adding in some breast milk bit by bit ...

RitaMorgan Fri 09-Sep-11 16:54:49

An exclusion diet takes more than a week to have an effect - I think normally advice is to give it 2-3 weeks.

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