A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to my new series, Things That Keep Me Up at Night.
It all began when one fateful night at precisely 11:37pm, I found myself Googling lice, cold and flu germs, common warts, strep throat, pink eye, and pretty much everything else that can be passed from child to child at an alarming rate. And now that Ryder is attending school, he’ll be susceptible to the germ-fest (and slinging around some of his own, I’m sure). Case in point: Ryder, Reid and Mommy have taken turns being sick for the last 30 days.
(Send tea. And maybe whiskey.)
And so over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss some common childhood complaints (and my resulting insomnia from thinking about them) plus showcase sanity-saving products that you should keep in your medicine chest (or at the very least, keep on your radar) should you ever need them. Today, rather than tackle on one of the heavy hitters, I’d like to talk about a food allergy that some children pick up in their school years – not by way of direct contact, of course – but something that can affect the quality of their classroom life just the same.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest a sugar called lactose that is found in milk and dairy products.
Normally, when a child eats something containing lactose, an enzyme in the small intestine called lactase breaks down lactose into simpler sugar forms called glucose and galactose. These simple sugars are then easily absorbed into the bloodstream and turned into energy — fuel for our bodies.
Children with lactose intolerance do not produce enough of the lactase enzyme to break down lactose. Instead, undigested lactose sits in the gut and gets broken down by bacteria, causing gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Source: Kidshealth.org
My husband suffers from a mild lactose intolerance and I can tell you, it’s not fun. Without discussing what goes on in the bathroom, let’s just say he often regrets that slice of double-cheese pizza, often just minutes after it is consumed. For thousands of children, a lactose intolerance can cause embarrassment, frustration, and often anger – dairy foods are delicious! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a delicious scoop of ice cream?…