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What should I do if I think my child is lactose intolerant?

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Talk with your child's health care provider before making any changes to your child's diet, even if lactose intolerance runs in your family.1,2

Your child's health care provider may suggest that your child eat a strict lactose-free diet for a short time to see if your child's symptoms go away. Then, foods that contain lactose will be slowly added back into your child's diet to see if the symptoms return. Your child may also need other tests.3

If your child does have problems digesting lactose, you will need to be sure your child is getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that are needed for bone growth. You can learn ways to manage lactose intolerance and still get these important nutrients. Many strategies can help children and adults with lactose intolerance eat and drink dairy products with few or no symptoms.


  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2009). Lactose intolerance. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/index.aspx [top]
  2. American Gastroenterological Association. (2010). Understanding food allergies and intolerances. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/diet-medications/food-allergies-fructose-intolerance-and-lactose-intolerance External Web Site Policy [top]
  3. Heyman, M. B.; AAP Committee on Nutrition. (2006). Lactose intolerance in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics, 118(3), 1279–1286. PMID 16951027 [top]

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Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012
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