Lactose intolerance and gastrointestinal cows milk allergy in infants and children – Common misconceptions revisited

Posted: Oct 14,2018

There is ongoing confusion between lactose intolerance (LI) and cow’s milk allergy (CMA) which may lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate dietary management. The treatment of LI involves the reduction, but not complete elimination, of lactose-containing foods. By contrast, breastfed infants with suspected CMA should undergo a trial of a strict cow’s milk protein-free maternal elimination diet. If the infant is not breastfed, an extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formula and strict cow’s milk avoidance are the standard treatment for CMA. The majority of infants with CMA can tolerate lactose, except when an enteropathy with secondary lactase deficiency is present.

This presentation is based on the review article 'Lactose intolerance and gastrointestinal cow's milk allergy in infants and children – common misconceptions revisited’ by Heine R G et al