Lactose Intolerance after stomach bug?

Hi Ladies,

Some of you will know that my DS is recovering from a horrid stomach bug which involved a lot of vomiting initially and diarrhea. We are just left with slightly mushy nappies but overall he's very well.

He has started waking in the night and cries distressingly. It takes me a long time to settle him (he arches his back and thrashes about in my arms) which is so unlike him. I thought it may be teething but this has started since he had the bug. I just wondered if anyone who's LO has had a stomach bug experienced the same thing? I thought that he could have stomach pains too but have read that babies can suffer from temporary lactose intolerance after a bout of this. It's just so upsetting seeing our beloved ones in pain.

Thank you xxxx


  • Hi, this could well be the case. I developed a dairy intolerance as a child after a very bad bug at 18 months - I could not have any dairy until I was 6 years old! Even now as an adult, if I've had food poisoning or gastroenterisis I have to stay off dairy for a good few days as I get really bad stomach cramps until my stomach properly recovers.

    I'm sorry to hear your baby isn't feeling too good. Hope he's better soon x
  • Thanks peeptoe, I wonder how I could confirm this? It's been 9 days since he caught the bug and his stools are not back to normal yet. What other symptoms would exist? He is fine in himself, just a bit more whingier than normal during the day xx
  • Hi there

    Yep, Adam had temporary lactose intolerance after having the rotovirus. It's because all of the enzymes needed to digest the lactose had been cleared out by the vomiting etc and took a while to build back up (I think!)

    Is your LO BF or FF? We were advised (by A&E) to change to SMA Lactose Free formula for 4 weeks and then to slowly re-introduce Adam's normal formula (Aptamil). This worked really well. I guess if you are BF then you could try and avoid dairy products for a while and see how you get on? Apparently Soya products should also be avoided (I can't remember why though).

    I hope your LO feels better soon.


  • PS - we were told the runny poos would continue unless we changed formula. Once we switched to LF, his poos went back to normal really quickly.
  • My ds1 had something similar. He had antibiotics for a broncialitis (?) bug at 4 months and he went from being quite constipated to having black runny poos. I saw the doc and he was refered to the hospital but they lost his sample and i had to do it again. By that time i changed his milk and it sorted out the problem.

    Hope you get it sorted

    Gemm x
  • Hugo has been treated for reflux since he was 18 weeks old. When it seemed to get so much worse after we started weaning, we were referred to a Paediatrician because it is usually the case that reflux resolves upon weaning. He was tested for a dairy intolerance and allergy (done by a blood test) and thankfully it came back negative.

    So I would suggest asking your GP to refer you to a Paed Consultant at your nearest hospital. The GP may be reluctant because of resources etc, but 'perhaps' you have a close blood relative with a dairy intolerance problem...?
  • Thanks ladies,

    I'm hoping that this intolerance is only a temporary thing as he has been absolutely fine until getting viral gastroenteritis.

    Cath - thanks for your advice, think I may try a LF formula for a short while. Did you have your LO on this for 4 weeks? In that time was Adam ok? I only ask as my DS started on SMA and found him to be very constipated. He's on Aptamil now. After the 4 weeks did you introduce a bottle at a time every few days and did his stools remain solid through the transition?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just want my little man to return to his normal self. I rang the HV and she said to keep him to his normal milk and feeding routine and was pleased that he was on Aptamil because it contains prebiotics which aids digestion in the gut. I'm assuming that your son has had no problems with the swapping of milks as this is another thing which HV's advise against!

    Thanks once again ladies for your advice xxx
  • Hiya

    Yes, we kept Adam on it for four weeks and he was fine. His poos were a different consistency (more solid than when he was on Aptamil) but that was all.

    We reintroduced Aptamil one bottle at a time, starting with the 7am bottle, so it took about a week to make the full transition. His poos then went back to normal!

    The HV told me not to change his formula, but the paed at A&E said it was def the right thing to do.

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