I think my child has a dairy intolerance, what can I do about it?

If you have concerns about a dairy intolerance in your child, this article explains the symptoms and what to do next.

dairy intolerance

You notice your child does not seem right after having their morning cereal, they become really irritable and complain of a really sore tummy?

You suspect that their love of milk and cheese could be the culprit, but you don’t know what to do about it?

Dairy intolerance is becoming more and more common today with little of the population being able to tolerate it without side effects. Not only that, most babies, toddlers are children are struggling to cope with dairy.

Common dairy intolerance symptoms in children include:

  • Liquid green frothy stools

  • Irritable

  • Stomach aches

  • Bloating passing a lot of gas

  • Not putting on weight

  • Nappy rash

  • hives

These symptoms present themselves within 30 min to 2 hours of consuming milk or a milk-based product.

The problem is not the beloved milk or cheese, but that the child is lacking a vital enzyme called lactase to digest the sugar within the milk.

Just to be clear, a dairy intolerance is different to a dairy allergy. With a dairy intolerance the person does not produce the needed enzyme to digest the naturally occurring sugar within the milk, whereas with an allergy, the person cannot break down the protein casein.

Dairy Intolerance Treatment

Just because they are not tolerating a milk based product, doesn’t mean that it is ALWAYS going to be that. With a little bit of work, time and patience, it can be resolved.

Here is a basic treatment protocol to deal with dairy intolerance symptoms in children.

  • Remove ALL forms of dairy for a period of 2 weeks and assess the difference. If symptoms greatly improve, then you have your answer whether dairy is the culprit or not.

  • A symptom management approach would be to give them an over the counter digestive aid with the lactase in it to assist with the digestion. Provide the digestive aid before a main meal or snack to prevent any symptoms.

  • Resolve the intolerance once and for all by resolving the root cause of the dairy intolerance, i.e. the gut.

More than likely the gut bacteria is unbalanced and leaky which is not allowing the body to produce the needed enzyme naturally. Once you correct the microbiome imbalance and seal a leaky gut, the body once again can produce the needed enzyme to digest the sugar in the milk and your dairy intolerance problem is resolved.

In Summary

To sum it all up, you need to decide whether you just want to manage symptoms or actually resolve the dairy intolerance through a proper treatment plan. Even removing all dairy and switching to non dairy substitutes are still symptom management approaches and will become harder to manager in the longer term.

My recommendation would always be to resolve the root cause of the symptom, in this case an intolerance to dairy. The approach I prefer is quite common in functional medicine, however I also have on own my spin it, it is the 4R Approach. Using this approach, we work at the root cause level which are:

  • Nutrition & Gut

  • Toxicity

  • Mindset, stress management and emotional wellbeing

  • Specialist support to fast track results

Chantal1 smaller.png

 Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping overwhelmed mums create thriving health & wellness for their family using nutrition and transformational wellness practices.