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Children's Health

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Milk Sugar Tolerance - Topic Overview

At first, newborns who are given formula may not be able to digest all of the milk sugar (lactose) in the formula they drink. The undigested lactose moves to the large intestine and causes cramps, bloating, or gas. As the baby grows, he or she is better able to digest the lactose, and the symptoms disappear.

Babies who are only fed breast milk do not have milk sugar intolerance, because breast milk contains lactase, an enzyme that helps digest lactose.

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Milk sugar intolerance is similar to lactose intolerance in older children and adults. But it is temporary and does not mean that the baby will be lactose-intolerant as an adult.

Dietary supplements or lactase products for lactose intolerance (such as Lactaid) should not be given to babies.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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