15 answers

Best Test for Lactose Intolerance

My Husband and I are really thinking that our daughter 4 might be lactose intolerant. We have a doctor appointment coming up, but seems too far away. Is there something we can do over the weekend to test for it? We have started giving her Lactate before eating dairy, which did seem to help, but there are soooo many things that have Lactose in it that I dont even know about! She took the lactose throughout the day yesterday and limited her dairy. She said she felt much better, but then last night She had a little this and a little that at a party and had tummy issues when we got home. Is there some special diet I can put her on for a day to see if she feels better??? Any thoughts or suggestions are much appriciated.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your help. I have received a lot of really good advice. We did limit her dairy this weekend and gave her the Lactate when nessesary. She didnt have any issues all weekend. I will continue this for at least this week and then reintroduce the milk and see what happens. We do have an appointment with a doctor in a couple weeks. I really hope to be prepared with a lot of good research before we go. You all have helped so much! Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

First, it will take more than a day to remove the lactose from her system. Do some research into the topic before you go to the doctor. Find out what is available for her to eat and drink. You might want to include the whole family in her the family so she doesn't feel left out. I personally, love the rice drink. Great stuff.

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Well, dear heart --- it seems to me that she has already '''' told'''' you ( with the tummy upset after a party which naturally exposed her to some milk products. MY suggestion is to continue what you did yesterday- ( giving lactaid - and increasing step-by-step your own vigilence regarding non-dairy products --- it IS a problem- no question. My now 8 year old grandson is lactose intolerant ( he was breast fed for 3 years --- partly because our family has a lot of allergy issues and his Mom was trying to avoid his becoming lactose intolerant. She has kept him off dairy all this time - but is now able to expose him to tiny amounts of dairy without problem ((( I can use butter to make a sandwich -- he can eat it - and without problem--- naturally I do NOT use cheese for him- and it's a pain- yes it is-- but not as bad as his being ill)

Blessings, dear heart-
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I just wanted to make a few comments that I noticed for me personally
- It took me a lot of label reading to get the hang of what has dairy and what doesn't...I had to read ALL product labels.
- There are multiple words that mean dairy...Milk, Lactose, Whey (some are dairy based, however, the wheat based is fine), etc
- I need 2 Lactaid pills per dairy meal or food item
- I can only have so many pills per day. If I were to eat dairy all day (with Lactaid) I run into big issues
- Each time I take Lactaid for a dairy food it only lasts about 20 minutes, if I continue to eat dairy past a certain amount of time...big issues :oP

I'm sure everyone is different so I just wanted to share what I personally experience. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, there's something you can start this weekend, but it's not only for a day. I'm a naturopathic doctor, and the first thing I would do if you'd brought your daughter in to me is an Elimination/Rechallenge diet. That means you have her strictly avoid all dairy (including goat/sheep) for 2 weeks. Monitor any change in symptoms. Then in 2 weeks, rechallenge - that is, give her milk on purpose (pure milk, not cheese or something else) - a glass at each meal. If reintroducing milk causes any symptoms, you can stop the rechallenge - you have your answer. You can test soy or goat milk in the same way (having cut it out entirely for 2 weeks as well). When you eliminate, you want to eliminate all forms of the food, and when you rechallenge, you want to rechallenge using the purest possible form of that food.

Better yet, get your daughter in to see a naturopathic physician. Perhaps it's a simple lactose intolerance, but often 1 food intolerance a) goes with others and b) is causing other problems (chronic ear aches or respiratory infections are common; eczema is common. Type 1 Diabetes is, as another poster mentioned, commonly associated with dairy intolerance, though don't panic that you're headed for diabetes just because of it. The incidence of Type 1 Diabetes is not very common, whereas dairy intolerance is. That said, you don't want to keep eating a food you can't digest, because the chronic inflammation causes permeability of the intestinal membranes, which sets you up for an immune reaction. I believe the mechanism to Diabetes occurs then via a cross-reaction once the immune system has been wrongly alerted; i.e., the immune system can become "confused" and start attacking cells of one's own body, creating an autoimmune condition; Type 1 Diabetes is one autoimmune condition, and there are many others.)

Honestly, naturopaths are way more up on food allergies and intolerances than conventional physicians. There are gastroenterologists out there who maintain that what you eat has nothing to do with digestive symptoms. Honestly. And it's not just one or two. Visit www.naturopathic.org to find a naturopathic doctor near you. Be aware that there are people who call themselves naturopaths but did not go to a 4-year medical school, instead receiving a diploma after a mere few months correspondence school. Not saying that they can't help you with anything; am saying they aren't doctors, so know who you're going to.

Good luck,
D.

1 mom found this helpful

I too am allergic to milk so I have a lot of knowledge on this subject. Try to avoid soy milk for her as there are a lot of issues with soy that you want to avoid, and most people don't know about. Soy is the largest genetically modified crop in the US so unless it is labeled as organic, it is most likely genetically modified. Also soy is high in estrogen so you want to avoid it for that reason too. I read that feeding a baby soy formula is like giving them 2 birth control pills every day. Coconut milk tastes amazingly like real milk, especially if you add a little salt to it, just make sure it doesn't have preservatives in it. Trader Joes has a great one that I use. Rice milk and almond milk are pretty good to. Most people, even physicians don't know that the leading cause of type 1 diabetes is allergy related. When you eat something you are allergic to, it attacks your pancreatic cells first. So by using lactaid you are putting a band aid on the symptoms, but not treating the underlying cause. I was headed for full blown type one diabetes until I went to a naturopath and discovered my milk and wheat allergy, and now I am fine, as long as I avoid those foods. So I strongly suggest not to try to get her to grow out of it or get used to her milk allergy. Milk is a very large protein designed for something that has several stomachs therefore several chances to digest it. 80% of all babies born are lactose intolerant at first, that is what colic is, lactose intolerance. But if your daughter is 4 and still showing signs of lactose intolerance, you are doing the right thing by testing her for a true milk allergy, different than just lactose intolerance.

As far as alternatives, I had to become a real label reader. I buy VERY few packaged and processed foods because you are right, lactose is in everything. But they are not very good for you anyways, and you will find your family is much healthier without them anyhow. Cheese is the hardest for me to get around because I love cheese, but I don't care much for goat cheese or milk. Coconut milk is really the closest I have found. And it is very good for you, full of good fats and antioxidants. I have found that I am able to tolerate the tiny amounts of wheat or dairy found in some foods, once I was very strict for a month or so and got all of the lactose out of my system. There are so many alternatives out there now because more and more people are finding out they are allergic to milk. Pasteurized milk is not the good for any of us and the biggest allergen that there is. Most people just don't know that their allergy symptoms are really just a milk allergy. Raw milk is an extremely healthy food full of enzymes vitamins and nutrients that are all destroyed during pasteurization. I know the food co op carries it as do a few farm stores and farmer's markets.

I know this was a lot of information, but I hope something helped. Good luck and good health to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Both of my children have Classic Galactosemia which means that they cannot eat/drink anything containing milk sugar (we manage beyond the lactose). In any case, what about putting her on Soy Milk (we really like Silk), and eliminate all other sources of lactose (i.e.: a lot of lunch meat contains lactose, read labels on all breads, etc.). Please feel free to take a look at my blog. I write about food items which are "safe", restaurants, etc. Here is the link to the blog http://galactopdx.blogspot.com/

If you do not like Soy, you could also put her on rice milk. I have heard from others with lactose issues that lactose free milk also helps.

Please feel free to contact me privately if you have any questions. Thnx. Bea

1 mom found this helpful

My 3 year old son is lactose intolerant as well. We started noticing his when we placed him on milk after his first birthday. He know drinks Soy and loves it but when I am cooking for he and the other children (I do day care) I do not cook with soy. I simply have Children's Digestive Advantage on hand and have him take one. It lasts all day long and helps his tummy breakdown any lactose he may encounter during his day. It is a great product recommended by our Pediatrician. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

If your daughter is very sensitive, lactase pills won't let her eat whatever milk she wants - they'll just delay symptoms from being immediate to showing up later (likely why your daughter had a delay from when she ate the dairy to when her tummy was upset).

There's a difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance, so it's good you will be getting her in to be tested. The former is usually due to proteins in milk products, the latter to milk sugar that can't be digested. Milk sugar can't be "cooked" out of a food, nor can it be avoided by switching to goat's milk, etc.

Try cutting out all obvious sources of milk: milk, cheese (especially cream cheese, creamy havarti and dried cheeses like parmesan and romano), dried milk, milk solids, cream, buttermilk, whey, dried whey, and lactose.

Milk products hide in lots of things. Some obvious like salad dressings, muffins, and soups and sauces, but also non-obvious places e.g., in bread and hamburger buns (extends shelf life), pizza crust, cookies, cakes, waffles, canned soups, teriyaki sauces, cup-o-noodles, margarine, batter coatings (like McD's chicken nuggets), dried pasta that has ferrous lactate, and lots of pre-packaged foods. One of the sneakiest things you'll see on an ingredient list is "natural flavoring" or "natural sweetener" which are often euphemisms for milk sugar.

A bigger challenge awaits when your daughter hits school and you have to send separate snacks so your daughter doesn't have to risk milk exposure there. Note they won't let her have lactase pills at school without paperwork filed through the school office.

Your doctor can advise about how to see your daughter gets enough calcium and Vitamin D if she's not drinking milk.

1 mom found this helpful

the tests for lactose intolerance will have to be done in a lab setting, so there's really nothing you can do for her now except limit her dairy intake. something you might want to consider is that lactose intolerance and cow's milk intolerance are very similar, and the latter is often mistaken for the former.
that said, it was once thought that i was lactose intolerant, then allergic to milk. then i found a doctor who was willing to listen to me and as it turns out, i have irritable bowel syndrome. my friend had the same problem as a child, he wasn't diagnosed with IBS until many years later.

links about both: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseinto...
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/

good luck this weekend, and i hope you're able to find a solution when you see your doctor.

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