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Feeling sick with foul stools and cramps. Changed to novalac 3 from lactose free milk. What can be done?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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my child is nearly two he has had digestion problems from birth I breastfed for 5 months but he still had runny nappies which got worse on formulas and when given fish oils or multivitamins he is negative for allergies when tested initially he was diagnosed with colitis secondary to cows milk protein allergy he had bad eczema around his mouth and head also it was atypical, he also has inhalers for chest problems which have been much improved since we out him on lactose free milk but were travelling last week and changed him to novalac 3 he has been sick with foul stools and cramps since we are confused if his allergy testing is negative why is he reacting to milk is something else causing this? he is a healthy weight and we try to restrict dairy wherever possible, we are waiting to see our paediatrician for the past 6 months, he wakes at night and we are all exhausted
Posted Tue, 2 Jul 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 56 minutes later
Hi and thanks for the query,

I understand how frustrating it can be especially with a small child. I would however love to make a few clarifications first. From what he describe he is allergic to lactose. The implication of this is, before giving him any formula or foods, it is compelling to ensure that it does not contain lactose. Many milk formulae do contain lactose. you therefore need to be very watchful. Secondly, it is common experiencing these abdominal symptoms like diarrheas with lactose allergy. This allergy i some children could also have mucocutaneous manifestations. It is not therefore excluded that the eczema like symptoms observed could be linked to the same allergic process.

Association of this allergy with respiratory problems, compelling use of inhalers might deserve a more special insight and careful considerations. At this point in time , the involvement of an allergist and a pulmonologist could be useful for two main reasons. Diagnosis of allergy to lactose and lactose related products, and the extent of this hypersensitive state. specific tests like levels of Immunoglobulin E levels, IgE, and esonophil counts could motivate specific therapies to be initiated to reduce this allergy. The commonest is the immune desensitization. The advantage if its the case is that, the relief shall not only be at the gastrointestinal level, but respiratory symptoms certainly shall certainly be greatly ameliorated.

I strongly suggest booking an appointment first with an allergist, then a pulmonologist depending on the allergst's diagnosis. While waiting, I strongly suggest avoiding the lactose and lactose containing substances.

Thanks and hope this helps and do not hesitate asking further questions if need be. Thanks and hope this helps.

Best regards,

Bain LE, MD.
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