Lactose free formula

Lactose free formula

A lactose-free formula for babies is made from cow’s milk and is specifically designed to be used by infants who are lactose intolerant. A lactose-free formula might be required if a baby is having difficulty digesting lactose in cow’s milk. Galactosemia is a rare condition in which infants are exposed to lactose-containing formulas that can cause serious health problems.

Many infant formula types are available, so it can be not easy to choose from. The decision process can be more complicated if your baby has digestive issues. These are important things to consider when deciding whether the lactose-free formula is the best option for your baby.

What is a Lactose-Free Formula?

Lactose-free milk is usually made from cow’s dairy that has been processed to remove lactose and replace it with another form of sugar. Lactose-free formulas do not use lactose as a source of carbohydrates. They instead use a corn-based source.

Although neither soy nor lactose-free formulas contain lactose, lactose-free formulas are made from cow’s dairy and contain cow’s milk protein.

Babies allergic to cow’s milk proteins will not tolerate these formulas. 1

Low-Lactose Formula

Low-lactose formulas may not be the same as lactose-free formulas. These formulas still contain lactose but in a lower amount. Low-lactose formulas may be an option for babies who are fussy, gassy, spit up a lot or otherwise have discomfort.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance refers to an impaired ability of the body to digest lactose. The body must produce lactase enzymes to digest lactose. Some babies are unable to produce enough of this enzyme. Although the exact cause is not known, it is possible to have a temporary inability to produce any lactase.

The following symptoms are indicative of lactose intolerance:

  • Bloating and cramping
  • Diarrhea and loose stools
  • Gas
  • Nausea, abdominal pain

Primary Lactase Deficiency

A condition known as congenital or primary lactase deficit is when some babies cannot produce sufficient lactase over the long term. This is a condition in which babies lack the enzyme lactase. It can be caused by inheriting a gene each from their parents.

It is rare to have primary lactase deficiencies. This condition requires a special formula such as soy milk or lactose-free formulas for babies.

Secondary Lactase Deficiency

Secondary lactase deficiencies are temporary decreases in the availability of lactase for infants and children. This can happen after an episode of diarrhea, which damages the lining. Rotavirus, Giardia and other common organisms can cause damage to the intestines. It can also be caused by Crohn’s and Celiac diseases.

Developmental lactase deficiencies can occur in preterm babies. This is temporary and only lasts for a few hours after birth. This is a temporary condition that lasts for a short time after birth. 5

Temporary lactose intolerance doesn’t usually require switching to a lactose-free formulation. Lactose intolerance usually disappears once the underlying causes are addressed.


Galactosemia, a rare condition, is when an infant can’t break down galactose, a part of the larger sugar lactose. The condition is caused by mutations in the gene that breaks down galactose.

Galactosemia can be classified into several categories:

  • Classic galactosemia (also called Type I): The most common and severe form of galactosemia, which can lead to death if it is not treated with a low-galactose diet
  • Galactokinase inadequacy (also known as Type II): This causes fewer medical problems than classic, but infants may develop cataracts.
  • Galactose epimerase insufficient (also known as Type III): Can cause complications such as delayed growth, kidney problems, liver problems, liver problems, and intellectual disability.

Type I is found in 1 out of 30,000 to 60,000 babies. Types II and III are less common and affect 1 in 30,000 to 60,000 babies. Galactosemia babies cannot tolerate breastmilk, so they must consume lactose-free formula from non-cow’s milk.

Other stomach problems

Infants can have a variety of stomach problems, including lactose intolerance. Your baby may experience discomfort from allergies, colic, or reflux. Sometimes, it may take some detective work to find the root cause.

Cow’s milk allergy

Cow’s milk is a top allergen for children. The protein usually causes this allergy in milk, not the sugar (lactose). A milk protein allergy can be present from birth or develop as the child grows. Children and older are more likely to have lactose intolerance.

8 These are the symptoms of a milk protein allergy.

  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting

Sometimes parents confuse symptoms of a milk protein allergy with colic, gas or other common digestive problems in babies.


Babies suffering from reflux will spit up small amounts after eating. More than half of infants experience reflux. Spitting up is not a common symptom that causes pain or tears. Sometimes it can be more severe.

GERD is a condition that affects less than 1% of infants. GERD is caused by a weak valve at the stomach’s upper end. It is often triggered by overfeeding.

Symptoms of GERD include the following:

  • Spit-up is a good idea.
  • Heartburn is also known as discomfort and crying.
  • Poor weight gain

Treatments for reflux include diet modifications by the breastfeeding parent (if breastfeeding), frequent and smaller feedings, proper burping, medication, and changes in the baby’s posture. Switching formulas might not be an option if your baby has other symptoms, such as cow’s milk intolerance.


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