Treatment

Fortunately, lactose intolerance is relatively easy to treat. Symptoms in young children can be controlled by diet in which foods containing lactose are eliminated. Most older children need not avoid lactose completely, although children differ in the amounts and types of foods they can eat. For example, one child may not be able to drink a small glass of milk without symptoms, while another can eat ice cream but not other dairy products. Each child will need to learn through trial and error how much lactose can be tolerated.

Children who react to very small amounts of lactose or who have trouble eliminating lactose can take lactase enzymes. one type of enzyme is available as a liquid which is added to a quart of milk; after 24 hours in the refrigerator, the lactose is reduced by 70 percent. The process works faster if the milk is first heated; adding a double dose of the enzyme produces milk that is 90 percent lactose free. Chewable lactase enzyme tablets also can help children digest solid foods that contain lactose. Lactose-reduced milk and other products are available at most supermarkets.

one concern for lactose intolerant children is whether they are getting enough calcium in their diet, which is contained in dairy products and which is essential for the growth and repair of bones throughout life. Research suggests that yogurt with active cultures may be a good source

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