Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lactose Intolerance

My two youngest children have suffered from lactose intolerance. They both were a result of being on antibiotics. Our first experience was with Aidan. He went on an amoxicillin twice before there was any problem. At the time, we had no idea what had caused the problems. He was having chronic diarrhea, so runny that he leaked through all of the diapers onto every outfit. This went on daily for weeks. We took a trip and packed every item of clothing he owned, and he managed to soak every single one. It was miserable. We were at Disneyland, so I ran to the nearest Walmart and spent quite some time reading all of the formulas. Knowing that soy had given our older child horrible diarrhea, I didn't want to necessarily go that route. I stumbled onto Lactose-free Enfamil. It said on the label that it was for gassiness and diarrhea. We tried it and it helped. He never had apple juice, nor any fruit juice. He didn't have fruit baby food other than applesauce (which actually works as a regulator for moisture in the intestines). I started putting Culturelle in his bottle everyday. I can slide the capsule open and pour the powder in. It's the strongest probiotic I could find, 10 billion cells per capsule. Now I've found a stronger one, 20 billion live cells per capsule. It's a generic for Culturelle that Walgreens carries. It's called Super Probiotic. It works great by replenishing the good bacteria in your intestines.
When you take an antibiotic, it can't tell good from bad, it just kills everything. So, if you go on an antibiotic, you should always then go on a probiotic to replenish the good. You may know of it as the good bacteria in yogurt. Unfortunately, our yogurt has so much sugar in it, that it doesn't work as well anymore. Also, the killing of all of the bacteria when on an antibiotic, is what allows yeast to take over...thus the reason kids get thrush after going on an antibiotic.
I've read recently that beans producing gas in the intestines actually grow probiotics in your own body! I love when we can find the benefits of eating healthier!
It took about a year or two of limiting milk and then slowly introducing a local dairy milk, Winder Farms, into his diet before he recovered completely from his lactose intolerance. Knowing all of this, we were much better prepared for our youngest to battle this same problem. In his diet, we also included lactose intolerance tablets which are lactase. The lactase is what helps to eat and digest the lactose. The lactase is what gets wiped out with the diarrhea when on an antibiotic. I'm not against antibiotics, but I am all for taking care of putting back some good bacteria after the medicine takes care of the bad! Interestingly enough, I think my baby's eczema is related to his lactose intolerance! Anyway, I also feed him coconut oil and coconut milk in his foods. I think this is helping. He loves the coconut oil on toast. I also put a spoonful in his bath everyday. It makes his skin so soft and smooth.
We did the whole rice milk thing with him, but I worried about the lack of protein and fat in it. We now have him on Winder Farms milk. I believe the healthy fats and oils in the coconut oil help with his dry skin! We've cut out too many good fats in our diets and are now suffering from so many issues like mood problems, depression, and skin issues like eczema. That's my opinion anyway!
Please, let me know what you think and what has worked for you.
P.S. I would also like to note that we tried everything from rice cereal to bananas to gas-x to mylanta to benadryl...nothing would stop the diarrhea. I found out through this trial that some of the rice cereals and crackers for babies and for adults have lactose in them as a sweetener. Interesting!

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