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Suffering from diarrhoea. Diagnosed with lactose intolerant. How long will it take to get cured?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi , my 3.5 months old son is suffering from diarreoha since the time he was 2 months old , doctors have stated that he is lactose intolerant and have started nusobee soya , instead of breast feed. i just want to kbnow how long it will take him for healing completely although his motion numbers have come down to 4-5 in a day , but the consistency is still semi soild.
Posted Sun, 14 Oct 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance are liquid, sometimes XXXXXX frothy stools and an irritable baby who may pass wind often. If a baby is lactose intolerant, the medical tests ('hydrogen breath test' and tests for 'reducing sugars' in the stools) would be expected to be positive. However they are also positive in most normal breastfed babies under 3 months. Their use in diagnosing lactose intolerance in young babies is therefore open to question.
So assuming your doctors have confirmed the diagnosis the quality and frequency of your baby's stools are already near normal like in other infants .
Secondary lactose intolerance is temporary, as long as the gut damage can heal. When the cause of the damage to the gut is removed, for example by taking the food to which a breastfed baby is allergic out of the mother's diet, the gut will heal, even if the baby is still fed breastmilk. If your doctor does diagnose 'lactose intolerance', continuing to breastfeed will not harm your baby as long as she is otherwise well and growing normally.
While the baby has symptoms of lactose intolerance, it is sometimes suggested that the mother alternate breastfeeding the baby with feeds of lactose-free artificial baby milk or even take the baby off the breast. Authorities only recommend the use of lactose-free artificial baby milk if the baby is artificially-fed and is very malnourished and/or losing weight. However, human milk remains the best food and will assist with gut healing. In addition, sensitivity of the baby to foreign protein (cow or soy) should be considered before introduction of any artificial baby milk, as regular types, including lactose-free ones, may make this problem worse.
Except for the extremely rare primary type, there is always a cause behind lactose intolerance in babies. Getting to the cause and fixing that is the key to resolving the baby's symptoms.The time for recovery varies with the cause and individual age and condition of baby however on an average it may take about 8 weeks for complete recovery.
So as of now I would advise you consult a pediatric Gastroeneterologist and a lactation consultant for better management of your baby's problem .
In any case it will take a couple of weeks more for the gut to heal completely if you have already started treatment 1-11/2 month back .
Hope I have answered your query.
Wishing your child a speedy recovery.
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