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Lactose Overload

What is Lactose?

Lactose is the sugar found in milk and milk products.  Human breast milk contains around 7% lactose and formula contains a similar amount.

Lactose is broken down in the stomach by the enzyme Lactase into Glucose and Galactose, which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream and used by the body.

What is lactose overload?

Lactose overload is a temporary problem where an overload of lactose (sugar) occurs and the baby’s digestive system is unable to produce sufficient quantities of the digestive enzyme lactase to break down all of the lactose received.

How is lactose overload different from lactose intolerance?

Essentially, Lactose Overload is as a result of too much Lactose sugar taken in and the baby cannot produce sufficient quantities of the enzyme Lactase quickly enough. Lactose overload is frequently misdiagnosed as lactose intolerance. Lactose Intolerance is as a result of the baby not producing sufficient quantities of the enzyme Lactase. Both conditions display identical gastric symptoms. However, unlike lactose intolerance, where the child fails to gain weight (or loses weight) and is very unwell, an infant with lactose overload is healthy and thriving.

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