Lactase deficiency

It is well known that the best food for a baby is breast milk. It contains a large number of nutrients that are essential for baby’s development. According to recent research by scientists, about four hundred of these nutrients have been identified, and one of them is lactose or milk sugar. This component is also found in cow’s milk and milk formula, often included in baby’s diet.

In order for lactose to be well absorbed by the body, a special enzyme, lactase, is needed to break down this carbohydrate. Often, however, there is a deficiency of it in the body of children, which can impair the absorption of milk sugar and, consequently, poor tolerance of products that contain it. This disorder is called lactase deficiency (often incorrectly called “lactose deficiency”) or lactose intolerance. The problem is quite common, so almost all parents of children under the age of one know about it firsthand. Some of the bottoms buy their children:

What causes lactase deficiency?
There are several causes of lactose intolerance. For example, the predisposition to lactase deficiency is characteristic of children born before their due date. The enzyme lactase is usually produced in the intestines of the foetus in the 24th week of its development and this process becomes more intensive with every month. In the body of premature infants the production of this substance “started” not in full force.

Some babies have a congenital lactase deficiency, that is, it is inherited from the mother or father. Leads to this disorder and failure at the genetic level: with this development, doctors can alleviate the condition of the child, but it is not possible to cure it completely.

Lactase production disorder may also be acquired, occurring, for example, against the background of a disease. In this case, it is sufficient to eliminate the cause of the disorder as soon as possible, and lactase production in sufficient quantity will be restored.

Depending on the causes of the decrease in the activity of the enzyme in the child’s intestine, lactase deficiency is divided into primary and secondary. For example, primary lactase deficiency occurs when enterocytes (surface cells of the small intestine) are intact, but lactase activity is reduced (partial lactose intolerance, hypolactasia) or the enzyme is completely absent (complete intolerance of milk sugar, alactasia). Secondary lactase deficiency occurs only when the lactase-producing cells are damaged.

There is also a condition called lactose overload. It occurs only in babies whose mothers are “very dairy”. Because there is a lot of milk, infants feed infrequently. As a result, each feeding is fraught with a large amount of “front” milk saturated with milk sugar, which quickly moves through the intestines and causes the baby symptoms of lactase deficiency. But this condition does not require special treatment and can easily be corrected just by changing the organization of breastfeeding.

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