Pediatric lactose intolerance

A child with lactose intolerance (lac·​tose - in·​tol·​er·​ance) experiences diarrhea, gas, bloating and other digestive distress after eating dairy products.


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What is pediatric lactose intolerance?

A child is lactose intolerant when the small intestine doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of an enzyme – called lactase – that the body requires to digest the lactose.

Lactose is the sugar found in milk and other milk-containing products, including cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Children who are said to be lactose intolerant cannot process this sugar and, therefore, experience a range of uncomfortable digestive problems after eating these foods and drinks.

What are the different types of pediatric lactose intolerance?

There are three types of lactose intolerance:

Congenital lactose intolerance

Congenital lactose intolerance are babies who are born with lactose intolerance. Rarely, a baby is born with congenital lactose intolerance. For this to occur, both the mother and father must pass on the same gene variant that affects lactase production.

Primary lactose intolerance

Primary lactose intolerance are adults who were able to consume dairy products as a child, but later develop problems digesting lactose due to reduced lactase levels with age.

Secondary lactose intolerance

Secondary lactose intolerance is when lactase production is decreased following an illness, injury or surgery that involves the small intestine.

What are the signs and symptoms of pediatric lactose intolerance?

What are the causes of pediatric lactose intolerance?

Usually, a decrease in lactase production is caused over time, as in primary or secondary lactose intolerance.

Pediatric lactose intolerance doctors and providers