What is lactose intolerance?

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I am lactose or dairy intolerant. Mummy knew I was dairy or lactose intolerant from when I was a few days old. Luke, my big brother, was too. Most babies grow out of it, and it can be the sugar, or protein in cows milk that we have trouble with. I don’t really understand it all, but mummy wanted to remove dairy completely from my diet. The doctor listened to Mummy this time, with Luke it took over 5 months of the doctors and health visitor telling mummy he had colic, before they agreed it was something more. It was very difficult to know which one I was, lactose intolerance is an intolerance of the sugar in cows milk, dairy intolerance is when you are unable to tolerate the protein in cows milk. When I was 19 months old, mummy was sure I was lactose intolerant. Either of these are totally different to being allergic to cows milk.

As a new baby, there are no tests that can diagnose either of these. The easiest thing to do was to remove cows milk formula from my diet. But what was I going to have now? And, for those of you thinking, well, why didn’t mummy breast feed me, lactose and protein is present in breast milk in very similar quantities to formula.

What were my symptoms?

I cried, and cried, and cried. Nothing would soothe me. Mummy even had me to A&E one night when I was only 11 days old. I had severe tummy pains, wind and bloating. I would go stiff with pain, then pass a little wind. My tummy was hard and bloated. The only option was to put me on a very special formula. The next day Mummy took me to the Doctors and we tried one called Nutramigen, which the doctor recommended, but, I was still poorly with this one :(

Other symptoms can be more severe, including being sick and sick, and blood in your poo. Luke nor I ever had symptoms this severe, thank goodness, but that made it more tricky for mummy to convince the Doctor, especially with Luke.

A week later, we were back to the Doctors, I was 20 days old. A new doctor at our surgery who was very up to date with the latest products, told mummy to put me on Neocate. This formula contains absolutely no trace of anything of cows milk. There is nothing in it that could upset my tummy. So, I started with Neocate.

My crying and tummy pains did ease, and mummy noticed I was happier and in much less pain. Mummy knew though that I had a very sensitive tummy, and that she would have to be careful weaning me.
I was on Neocate until I was almost 20 months old, usually, a baby moves to cows milk at around one year old. Mummy didn’t want to introduce dairy too soon. Mummy found Lactofree, a great product that is cows milk, but with the lactose removed. This means I get all the goodness, but no upset tummy! Mummy weaned me off Neocate and onto Lactofree very slowly, replacing an ounce at a time over a few weeks. It worked, and my tummy didn’t hurt at all!

At 18 months, Mummy started by introducing baby biscuits which had a tiny bit of milk in them. I then tried a little cooked cheese, in macaroni cheese, and my tummy was ok :)

milk plan

Now, at 23 months old, I can tolerate, and like, most dairy foods. I can eat cheese, a maximum of two small fromage frais yoghurt’s a day, cheese spread and cheesy pasta,  but Mummy won’t give me cows milk as a drink, because she feels it would be too much for me. Luke, now 12, can drink cows milk, but until he was about 9, rich dairy ice cream and some other dairy foods would still upset his tummy. Mummy was given a dairy reintroduction plan which was a  good guide, but, again, Mummy went on her instinct too.

Mummy was concerned about me getting enough calcium, and the dietician gave us these great tips:

Hovis Best Of Both bread contains NO milk, but has added calcium

Ready Brek (Tesco Hot Oats is exactly the same) has NO milk (mix with your formula) but has added calcium

You should always check with your doctor or Health Visitor if you think your baby may be intolerant to cows milk, and take their advice, but, you should also trust your instinct if you think it may be more than colic.

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7 Comments

  1. I am lactose intolerant too and I have Crohn’s disease so I have to follow a really strict diet – hate it but nothing I can do! What annoys me most is the fact lactofree products are so much more expensive, eg. I can buy 4 pints of normal milk for the kids and pay just £1 for it but for a 2 pints of Lactofree milk it costs £1.34! The symptoms are awful if I eat any dairy products.

  2. This is ME – but I’m complicated Dairy/Soya in intolerant! I had neonate too but I’m a rice milk girl now. Unfortunately I suffered with blood in my stools and Silent reflux (still do) so it’s been a tough old ride but we are getting to grips with it now! Glad you got yours sorted too xAx

  3. It must be very tiring for your mummy. I hope you feel better soon and that your mummy can get some rest. One of my daughters had silent reflux and was very similar to you, but she’s all better now. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  4. It sounds like your mom was right to follow her instinct. Mommies know best. I’m glad you can now tolerate small amounts of dairy. #binkylinky

  5. This just proves how a Mummy’s instinct it always right! I’m glad she knew what to do, sounds like she put a lot of work into researching! I’m also glad to hear and that you can eat and like most dairy foods :) xx

  6. I am so glad you finally found a formula to help Ickle Pickle, I have an intolerance to dairy, I bloat, feel sick, dizzy and sleepy if I have any. Being a strict vegetarian and getting no dairy in my diet is not really good for my health but I try to stay away from dairy.
    Thanks for linking up to this weeks #PoColo

  7. My little sister who is now six used to have neocate as a child as she was lactose intolerant too and had problems with her stomach and digestive system. She still does now!
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