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Moms Expertise

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in toddlers

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10/01/14

Increased Gas:

Excessive abdominal gas is a common symptom of lactose intolerance in a toddler. When a carbohydrate such as milk sugar is not digested in the small intestine, bacteria in the large intestine break it down, producing gas. Increased gas could cause your little one to have a noisy stomach with a lot of gurgling. If your child's abdomen looks distended or she frequently passes large amounts of gas after drinking milk or eating milk products, it could be related to lactose.

Diarrhea:

Diarrhea is hallmark symptom of lactose intolerance. Lactose that is not properly digested and absorbed remains in the colon, where it attracts fluid. The excess fluid makes the stool watery, leading to sudden, intense bouts of diarrhea with lots of gas. This can cause even a potty-trained toddler to have accidents. The stool passed tends to be more acidic than a normal bowel movement, which can cause skin irritation. Your toddler may complain of a sore bottom or start scratching her bottom because of this skin irritation.

Abdominal Discomfort:

Abdominal cramps or pain can also indicate lactose intolerance in a toddler, especially if they occur relatively soon after eating. Some toddlers may experience nausea, although vomiting is uncommon. Symptoms can occur within as little as 30 minutes of eating or drinking high-lactose foods. A toddler with lactose intolerance can often tolerate a small amount of dairy products -- especially in a form such as cheese or yogurt -- eaten with a meal containing other foods and will have no symptoms. If your toddler develops gas and diarrhea shortly after she has a large glass of milk on an empty stomach, however, it could be because of lactose intolerance.

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