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Will my child remain lactose intolerant?

Q: My son had jaundice at birth and was also found to be CMV Positive. He was also found to be allergic to milk and milk products (galactosaemia) and has been advised a lactose free diet. We are doing the same for the last 1 and half years and he is in good health now. The doctor had asked us to keep him away from milk and milk products. He also advised for soya milk and soya milk products. I would like to know, in the perspective of medical science advancement, that would he be able to digest milk and milk products ever? Are soya milk and soya milk products safe?

A:I am glad to hear that your child is in good health now and is developing well. Galactosaemia is a hereditary disease that is caused by the lack of a liver enzyme required to digest galactose. Galactose is a breakdown product of lactose, which is most commonly found in milk products. Since galactose cannot be broken down, it builds up in the cells and becomes toxic. The body then produces abnormal chemicals, which causes the symptoms seen in infants with untreated galactosaemia. Your doctor is right in suggesting Soya milk and soya products instead of cow’s milk. It will be a good idea to do a market research about all the soya products available in your area and introduce those slowly to your child under your doctor’s supervision. Also, you can discuss with your doctor to suggest some other good sources of calcium and proteins or if your child will require any kind of calcium or protein supplements.

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