Lactose Free Formula Rant! [Click here to get to ‘main’ Formula Feeding and Reflux page]
Say No to Lactose Free Formula, from Parenting Solved
What do I know? I breastfed my babies. However, I’ve been ‘around’ for 12 years now and I’ve noticed this (in my opinion) ridiculousness about lactose free formula! It seems to be the norm in Ireland, and I’m sure other places, when a baby has colic (UGH!!) or reflux (here’s Colic Vs. Reflux). Doesn’t anyone know that lactose is milk SUGAR and not milk PROTEIN and that breastmilk is largely comprised of lactose and therefore human babies are ‘designed’ to ingest it? Sure, there are some babies who cannot tolerate lactose and these babies are fairly rare- they may have congenital lactase deficiency and galactosemia. But really, I’ll have to look more into this and how rare it is!
Ok from the National Institute of Health:
Are there different types of lactose intolerance?
Individuals with lactose intolerance are unable to digest significant amounts of lactose due to an inadequate amount of the enzyme lactase. (see link above for source)
Research shows that lactase is high at birth in all infants regardless of race or ethnicity, but wanes by age 5 to 7 in non-Caucasians and other populations that don’t traditionally include dairy products in their diets. (see link above for source)
There are three main types of lactose intolerance:
• Primary lactose intolerance, in which individuals who were able to digest lactose previously begin experiencing symptoms of digestive discomfort with no history or signs of underlying intestinal disease, is the most
common form of lactase deficiency.
• Secondary lactose intolerance is the result of a gastrointestinal disease, such as severe gastroenteritis.
• Congenital lactose intolerance, such as galactosemia, is a lifelong complete absence of lactase, and it is relatively rare. However, it is not uncommon for secondary lactose intolerance to be misdiagnosed during the newborn period as congenital lactose intolerance.
Lactose-free formulas (including soy formulas) are often tried when a baby has symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as excessive bloating, gas, diarrhea, a red burn-like rash around the anus, and abdominal cramping. They are useful in babies who have rare metabolic diseases in which they are missing the enzyme that metabolize lactose. (This only occurs in around one of 65,000 babies.) Lactose-free formulas can also be tried in babies recovering from a diarrhea- producing illness and who suffer from a temporary lactase-deficiency while the intestinal lining is healing.
I do believe our reflux babies sometimes need specialized formulas! Of course! I just cannot bring myself to go along with all the doctors that are promoting lactose free formulas! Again, I find it to be rampant in other countries, not so much here in the US…