At first, newborns who are given formula may not be able to digest
all of the milk sugar (lactose) in the formula they drink. The undigested
lactose moves to the large intestine and causes cramps, bloating, or gas. As
the baby grows, he or she is better able to digest the lactose, and the
Babies who are only fed breast milk do not have milk sugar
intolerance, because breast milk contains
lactase, an enzyme that helps digest lactose.
Milk sugar intolerance is similar to
lactose intolerance in older children and adults. But it is temporary and does not mean that the baby will be lactose-intolerant as
Dietary supplements or lactase products for lactose intolerance
(such as Lactaid) should not be given to babies.
July 19, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
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