Lactose Free Diet

Updated on March 29, 2008
A.X. asks from Abilene, TX
25 answers

My son had stomach pains (8 yrs old) and when checked out they decided to do laproscopic to see if it was the appendix, they ended up taking it out. we went home and all was well for about a day. then he started getting pains again and diarrhea, and blood in his stool and once in his vomit. so back admitted to the hospital. lots of tests. found ulcers, now they want him on a lactose free diet for a while to see if that helps. he has never been allergic to anything. seems odd to me that at 8 years old he would suddenly start to be. The doctors aren't sure yet what could be the cause. They originally thought maybe Crons Disease and now thats just about ruled out (but not completely out). then maybe a viral infection, thats still wait and see. Then Mekels, and that wasnt it. I have two questions:
1. Has anyone had similar issues? Maybe we are missing something?
2. Lactose free diet. this is much easier said than done. Anyone have any ideas for EASY food to take for lunch at school? Or meals in general?
Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your comments! I really appreciated it! Well we had another appointment (follow up) and they said his biopsy came back as being GERD. It really doesnt make alot of sense to me that it would be acid reflux honestly. The Nexium they put him on made him way worse in pain all the time so now he is going to take Prevacid. We'll see how that works today was the first day. They also said he doesnt have to be on a Lactose Free diet anymore. thats great news too. However I think I may continue to use some of the Lactose free stuff, it seemed much more healthy for my family to eat. Thank you again for all your help. I will keep you guys posted if things change!

More Answers

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello A.,

I hope you have a whole foods or a sprouts near you because that would make it a lot easier for you to keep him on a milk/lactose free diet. You need to read every and I mean EACH AND EVERY label. Chocolate candy sometimes have lactose (as a sugar) medicine has lactose so you'll need to ask the pharmacist every time. even some of the medicines for IBS/chrons/colitis have lactose in it... imagine that! Has he been tested for allergies? did they check for celiac sprue? did they mention to try a gluten free diet?

http://www.csaceliacs.org/celiac_symptoms.php

here are some of the symptoms:
Abdominal cramping/bloating
Abdominal distention
Acidosis
Appetite (Increased to the point of craving)
Back pain (Such as a result of collapsed lumbar vertebrae)
Constipation
Decreased ability to clot blood
Dehydration
Diarrhea
Edema
Electrolyte depletion
Energy loss
Fatigue
Feet (Reduced fat padding)
Flatus (Passing gas)
Gluten ataxia
Mouth sores or cracks in the corners
Muscle cramping (Especially in the hands and legs)
Night blindness
Skin (Very dry)
Stools (Loose? Hard? Small? Large? Foul smelling? Floating? Clay, Light tan or Gray-colored? Highly rancid? Frothy?)
Tongue (Smooth or geographic - looks like different continents)
Tooth enamel defects
Weakness
Weight loss

~milk free links~
here is one link:
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/?gclid=CJLBj7LHhZICF...

google: milk free recipes
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UT...

I hope this helps. Good luck and keep trying!
~C.~

1 mom found this helpful
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V.P.

answers from Dallas on

My son is protein allergic & lactose intolerant. From what I understand he may or may not grow out of it and probably develop new allergies with time...etc. So, a lactose free diet is something that I've followed very closely for a long time and now I'm slowly introducing him to foods w/some lactose (cooked in, not fresh). What do they eat...lots of soy based products, milk, cheese, fruit bars, ice cream and yogurts. It's not easy or inexpensive. Look for veagan cookbooks to get ideas. I make tofu and fish (you have to get creative). School lunch is especially difficult. Get the Rice Dream single packs for his milk to take and easy sandwiches...he can still have easy proteins like chicken and turkey. PB&J should still be a favorite. Go to Whole Foods, they even have dairy free whipped cream and pudding. I also try to keep as many FRESH made sauces/meals because store bought stuff contains lactose. Preparation takes time so I keep jars of the stuff I use the most frozen to make weekday meals quickly. Good luck and hopefully changing his diet will help his tummy problems.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hello A.,

Goat milk and cheese has no lactose. The goat milk can be purchased in any grocery store, in a can, near the other canned milk. It is evaporated, so mix with equal amount of bottled water and you have lactose free whole milk with all the nutrients. The taste is the same as cow milk. You can purchase goat yogurt, plain or w/fruit, at Sprouts in Flower Mound, or at the Cupboard in Denton. The plain yogurt can be substituted for many things, sandwich spread, salad dressing or dip - be creative with spices or use packaged dip mix. Sprouts has goat milk in a quart carton, but way too expensive compared to the canned w/water mix. Both stores also have goat cheeses (also at Albertsons & Kroger), slightly expensive, but great for grilled cheese sandwiches, mini pizzas, with crackers, baby carrots or apple wedges for a child's lunch or snack. Many stores sell lactose free foods, you just have to read the labels carefully to make sure they don't sneak "milk product" into them. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.J.

answers from Abilene on

My kids are both allergic to all milk products so I understand it is difficult for you. They like Avocado sandwiches,peanutbutter and jelly,Vegan hot dogs/tofupups cold,a variety of nuts.Raisins and fresh fruit are good on the go too.My daughter who is 8 as well loves Original flavored Sunchips which are vegan of course.You just have to think a little different for vegan kids.Just check everything for milk and lactose.Best of luck to you!!!! I keep my two home so it is easier for me to do their meals from here.

--M.

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C.Z.

answers from Abilene on

completely lactose free or are you able to cook with it still. my husband and mom are lactose intolerant, but handle dairies that are cooked or processed.
my husband was in the desert and didnt drink any dairie for a long time, when he came home and tried to eat and drink everything it made him sick. also if you think this may be the case, try some lactaid pills from the store. chew one before each meal. and see if it helps. it doesnt help completely, but it does allow them to eat and nnot have such side effects.
i know some people it depends onthe dairie they eat too, like my mom tolerates ice cream but not frozen yogurt. but she can eat regular yogurt from time to time. its weird.
you might see if he has IBS or Coliitis. both are irritable bowel syndromes.
oh yeah some kids just dont produce enough acid in their stomachs. did they check his levels. i know it sounds weird. but most of your anacids work by producing more acid. its a maintenance thing.
good luck and when in doubt, get out of town for a diagnosis

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C.G.

answers from Dallas on

I can't believe the doctor decided to remove his appendix before implementing a diet change.

My middle child had severe tummy pain and blood in her stools until she was 10 months old. She wasn't getting anything with dairy/lactose in it, but I was nursing her, and the proteins were coming through undigested in the breast milk. So I also had to drop dairy. It really wasn't too terribly difficult, and she had outgrown the problems by age 2. It did require me to stay away from processed foods, which we were already doing because of some changes we'd made due to our son's sensitivities. If I remember correctly, goat cheese is okay for some reason, so I would put a few squares of that in soups and chili if I really felt I needed some cheese. For a little one, it really won't be that difficult. You can puree fresh veggies with chicken broth/water/rice milk or something and thicken it with cereal.

Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Abilene on

Have your gastroenterologist check for Celiac Disease. It often presents that way.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

A., get his nervous system checked. That means get his spine checked. The brain, which controls everything, communicates with the rest of the body using nerves, which travel down the spinal cord. If there is compression on his spinal cord or nerves, the organs CANNOT funtion at 100%. The organ system will become dysfunctional, which leads to disease, and eventually significantly shortens the lifespan. Before treating any disease with special diets, drugs, or surgery, it makes sense to check the brain/body connection first. A good source for you to find the type of doctor that you need is www.maximizedliving.com. If you can't find a doctor in your area from the website, email me and I will do my best to locate one for you.

Blessings,
Dr C.
[email protected]____.com

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

My husband did research and discovered that lactose intolerant people can tolerate yogurt because the lactose has been broken down by the bacteria.(as long as you get yogurt with live, active cultures. It actually HELPS your other symptoms if you eat it daily, because you have the bacteria in your system helping you. I eat the ACTIVIA brand daily and it has really helped me. It also get calcium this way. He also found that extra sharp cheddar cheese has very little lactose.
CENTRAL MARKET in Dallas has a lot of lactose free things to choose from, a whole section of ice creams, you might check it out! The "Little Cuties" ice cream sandwiches there are wonderful!
I eat rice milk or soy milk on my cereal and use it in cooking. I make pancakes and waffles and bake bread with it just like you would regular milk and it does fine! Rice milk doesn't have as much aftertaste as soy milk drinking straight.
I can also eat frozen yogurt without much problem. Lactaid helps to some degree, but I cannot eat dairy with reckless abandon, although I know some people that it helps a great deal. I have found it worth the effort to avoid it, and stick to the things I have shared with you.
I hope these hints help! It has taken me a long time to figure them out!

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H.Z.

answers from Dallas on

My son had to go on a lactose free diet and I understand how hard this can be everything seems to contain milk products. However if you go to Whole Foods Market and tell them your situation they will print out for you a whole list of lactose free foods and lots of suggestions. I know that Whole Foods can sometimes be expensive but the list they give you can be used at other grocery stores as well. Good luck and hope all gets better.
H.

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N.W.

answers from Dallas on

I would have IgE allergy testing done for your son and possibly IgG food sensitivites as well. These are blood tests. Many, many kids have problems with milk and/or gluten. While you are getting allergy testing also get strep and viral testing via blood. Also consider probiotics. VSL#3 is very strong and if you get it in double strength it is a prescription. You can try Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe for other probiotics.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I wish I had more info to help you with. I just wanted to let you know that I was never lactose intolerant until this past year, so maybe it is not uncommon for it to happen 'overnight'...my mom experienced the same thing at my age...and yes, she is still this way.
Have you tried having him take a quality natural digestive enzyme? I recommend the brand Shaklee.

take care,
K.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Lactose free - am I missing something? My son is lactose intolerant. The only thing he can't take / eat is cheese and regular milk. We've worked our way into yogurt - but it's not lactose free, of course. They give him juice at school instead of milk, and at home we use soy. Soy milk, soy cheese - no prob.

Lunches he likes:
Peanut butter with sliced apples
Vegetables with ranch
Shredded soy cheese and grapes

My ds doesn't eat bread (wheat) or meat either. :) Those are both bigger issues for us than the lactose.

Has he been checked for celiac disease?

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

I suggest finding an Applied Kinesiologist to do some non invasive testing and suggest some alternative supplements. You would be surprised how common these things are and sometimes how simple the fix. The first guess might be that he has a parasite. You might do some research on nematodes, trematodes, etc. That would mean you would need to do a flush and eliminate a long list of items from his diet but the good news is that kids recover fast from these things and you could reintroduce the foods in a few weeks. These are just some thoughts. - M.

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R.N.

answers from Dallas on

hi, A.. it is hard. i have 3 children all allergic. two are actually allergic to milk, one is severely lactose intolerant. I have a lot of literature that I'd be happy to mail you about food labels and meal ideas. i do a lot of peanut butter and some soy-soy bothers one of mine too. are you supposed to be dairy free or lactose free? i can answer a ot of ques if you need to email me. [email protected]____.com - once youve done it awhile you learn things like parkay squeeze "butter" has no milk in it, etc.

also try www.allergygrocer.com

we too se dr ogunmola...btw alexis they sent us to dr haden (allergist) for blood tests. ###-###-####. You can go yourself for testing. they can do it at 11 months on.

also, if you go to cooks, there is a nutritionist (ask for Vanessa or Megan) who can help you with meal ideas or send that literature to you that I mentioned above...im sure childrens has one too.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

you can all of a sudden be lactose intollerant, it happened to me and one of my daughters. it only happened to her once but i go back and forth. if he refuses to give up things there are otc pills he can take with meals to ease the discomfort. there is even real milk without lactose in it, i have some in my fridge. i use the pills because i love cheese and milk and ice cream. im not always lactose intolerant, it comes and goes. good luck.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

Did they check him for celiac disease?

Also, does he need to only be dairy free or also casein free? If only dairy free, that is much easier. I am not sure what area you live in, but I would recommend Healthy Approach off of Glade Road and hwy 121 in Colleyville. They have a great selection of lactose free foods. Whole foods is also pretty good.

T.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

My oldest son is allergic to milk. It is quite difficult and expensive to do meals for him, but it is WELL worth it. I was so sick of the vomiting and diarrhea that I would have done just about anything to make it stop. The only thing that I am confused about is why they haven't done allergy testing on him to confirm their theory. It is a simple blood test. My son started having milk issues when he was 2 1/2 and the allergist explained that allergies can occur at anytime in our life. Have you seen a gastroenterologist? We see Dr. Ogunmola in Fort Worth and we really love him. He is quite thorough and it sounds like they are doing more guess work than fact finding. I would seek a second opinion. We shop at Central Market and Whole Foods to get the majority of food for my son as the grocery stores don't carry a lot of true milk-free products. Please PM me if you have any questions. Good luck and I will say a prayer for your little one. I know how hard it is to deal with the waiting for a diagnosis - my oldest was recently diagnosed with Renal Tubular Acidosis after 5 months of testing.

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

Have you been out of the country or is there any chance he has swallowed lake water? On my honeymoon, we went to Cancun and I got a parasite which stripped my stomach lining and I had everything that you are describing for 8 weeks and went to several doctors of which were to be among the best in Texas. When the stomach lining gets stripped there are no enzymes to breakdown lactose products therefore resulting in diarrhea. There are some over the counter tablets you can buy to take with food that helps break down the lactose products. If that is what it is it takes a very long time (over a year - depending on the person and their body) for it to build back up. The pills were a life saver for me and you just take the recommended dose with your meal. You have to watch the amount of milk products, but it was a great deal better. A proctologist is who discovered this on me. If you are in the DFW area, Dr. Michael Mendelson in Arlington is who finally figured it out when many others where telling me some bizarre things. Hope this helps.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

I KNOW exactly how your son feels. I have been lactose intolerant ALL my life. I came out not being able to nurse or have normal formula. I had TERRIBLE stomach aches, vomitting, diarrhea ect. . . . FINALLY @ 10 they found I had ulcers, active and some that had scabbed over. (Of course back in the stone age they thought I had mental problems because ulcers were only caused by stress or worry and what could a 10 year old be worried about?) Fortunatley for me I had a WONDERFUL, SMART peditrician. I happened to produce more stomach acid than most adults. I also was lactose intolerant. SO they put me on several meds and my mother changed our diet, nothing fried, everything was broiled, boiled, steamed. My mom would pack my lunch with soups, sandwiches and water until I could tolerate a bit of juice. To this day I have to take anti acids. Previcid is the one I prefer, but there are alot out there. I have learned just how much I can ingest with out being sick and taking over the counter lactose pills I can still enjoy ice cream, cheese, ect.. .
I hope this helps. Hang in there, it will get better :)

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I know of a great practice of pediatric gastroenterologists in the Dallas area. This practice is one of the largest digestive practices in Dallas and around Texas. They are Digestive Health Associated of Texas and parents from all over Texas and surrounding states bring their children to these doctors for help.

Dr's. Argao, Brown, An, and Whitney
###-###-####

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

My Grandson almost died as a toddler. He needs to eat wheat free and gluten free. This is not easy as these ingredients are in everything. He is now 4 and healthy.
Be aware that no doctor could find anything "wrong" with him. Other than he might be dying. We were leading up to a test for CS when Bonnie Minskie'swebsite was located and she took a look at his blood.CD has been tested for and he does not have it YET. CD causes other physical issues. I urge you to check this out. Also, there is no easy lunch.
THere are no easy birthdays or family meals, etc. I can tell you that Central Market and Whole Foods have wheat and gluten free products. Even Kroger is starting to have
more products. Amy's comes to mind. Lots of oganic vegetables. There are even mixes for pancakes, etc. I know this sounds like a lot of work, it is. But all of his symptons went up in a cloud of smoke. No pain, he started
growing again. He is almost never ill now. Be aware that a sensitivity to wheat is genetic, often founds in celts- a lot of americans have this heritage- and the medical community could offer no solution because a wheat sensitivity is not an illness and most of the physicians just do not have the information on hand. Also, this sensitivity can occur at any age... suddenly. Plus this lifestyle is expensive, this food is not affordable. Check out the CD foundation. IF a Dr. will sign off on the sensitivity you can get tax relief for the food. I can tell you this worked 100% for our family. We even eat wheat free when we can.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

You are asking ALL the RIGHT questions, A.!! :) :) :)
Lactose is the "sugar" that is found in milk/dairy, so that should make it easier for you to figure out what may or may not have lactose in it.. Soy milk is naturally lactose free, so that's a great place to start! My family loves the SILK brand, VANILLA flavor (unflavored definitely has a different taste, and I'm pretty sure your son won't take more than one sip). Silk Soy also comes in chocolate, too, although I haven't tried it, yet. Asiago cheese is made from goat's milk, but I'm not sure if goat's milk also contains lactose. I would check with a Registered Dietician on that one.

Hope this helps, and that your son feels much better soon!!

>HUSGS<
~J.~

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

A.,
I am so sorry to hear that about your son. My husband had some of the symptoms of your son except the vomiting. You might want to look up the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. In case you don't already know this, Web MD is a great site to look up medical info. Hope your son gets well soon.

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and 7 year old are both lactose intollerant. It hard, but it can be done, there are several lactose free options and soy and rice milk work well. for luches we do peanut butter & jelly - turkey roll-ups in tortillas. Water instead of milk. If your son buys his lunch they should have some dairy alternatives in the cafeteria as well.

My husband and son have had some real luck with Crazy Water. It is well water with minerals helping them with their digestion issues. It also contains Calcium which is important when you can't do dairy. It can be purchased at Whole foods. Its cut down my husband's problems by 50%. My son is now allergic to soy so we are still working on diet issues.

Next question: It's Not Lactose Intolerance?