Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lactose Overload

Okay, so I'm pretty sure that Abigail has lactose overload as a previous commenter has mentioned. The only thing inconsistent with it is she does not have the issues with bowel movements. Everything else is spot on! She screams and cries all of the time unless I feed her. Then, she eats and seems very gassy and uncomfortable. And so the only thing that calms her down is to feed her and the cycle continues. It seems that I have two solutions. One is to block feed which I already do and it hasn't helped. The other is to switch to a lactose free formula and quit breastfeeding. And if I do, does anyone know whether it can be soy or actually a lactose free formula? So, hoping to get into see a lactation consultant to examine any other ideas before I make changes. Because I seriously have a baby who cries all the time. First she cries because she's mad unless I feed her. Then, she cries in pain from the gas.

Here are some things I have read about it.

Gas and fluid build-up cause tummy pain and the baby 'acts hungry' (wants to suck, is unsettled, draws up his legs, screams). Sucking is the best comfort he knows and also helps move the gas along the bowel. This tends to ease the pain temporarily and may result in wind and stool being passed. Since the baby indicates that he wants to suck at the breast, his mother, logically, feeds him again. Sometimes it is the only way to comfort him. Unfortunately another large feed on top of the earlier one hurries the system further and results in more gas and fluid accumulation. The milk seems almost literally to 'go in one end and out the other'.

What are the symptoms of lactose overload?

Frequent watery bowel motions (can often be green in color but not always)
Bowel motions often have a slightly to very offensive odor
Bowel motions could be frothy or 'explosive' (shoot out with force)
Bloating
Cramps
Excessive gas
Irritability/screaming
Sleeplessness or wakefulness
Baby appears to be constantly hungry
Baby gains large amounts of weight (which is not the case when a baby is lactose intolerant)
Baby is usually less than 3 months old, but this problem can continue to the age of 5 months
Symptoms are often mistakenly diagnosed as colic, lactose intolerance or milk allergy or intolerance. Because lactose overload is associated with an oversupply of milk and/or overfeeding, spitting up is increased and a diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux is common.

9 comments:

Brandi W. said...

She sounds like my babies! Carson and Evan both had a sensitivity to milk. They were both put on Similac Alimentum. They both always seemed hungry then screamed their heads off when not eating. They both had gas and hard tummies. With Evan we figured out pretty quickly what the deal was and we just put him on the Alimentum and within 24 hours he was a different baby. Our Pedi says that they usually outgrow it. They both went to a sensitive formula at six months and did fine on whole milk at 12 months. Good luck! Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I have followed your blog for sometime now and congrats on your beautiful little girl. Have you ever thought about taking her to a chiropractor? Dr. Scharenberg is in Wichita and it sounds like her issues are very similiar to what my daughter experienced. It was so important to me to continue with nursing so I was desperate because she cried all the time and acted like she was in pain after eating. We went to him for two weeks and it was amazing the results. I was able to nurser for a total of 14 months, which was very important to me, and I had a happy baby again! I was very skeptical at first because it was necessarily colic symptoms but it was so worth it.
http://docscharenberg.com/
Might be something to consider. Congrats again!

Holli Taylor said...

Formula is SOOO expensive...especially alimentum and your preemie would definitely reap other benefits of your breast milk at least through flu and cold season to keep her healthy. You def should talk to your peds, maybe try the chiropractor(we used that with Gavin) and for sure see the LC before you switch!

I don't just preach/say this...even being an LC I had tough nursing experiences so I know where you are coming from. Just be sure before you switch because if that doesn't end up being the problem and you grieve the experience you lost by giving up nursing there is little to soothe your emotions. You have done so much hard work Jodi and are such a great Momma!

Sarah Johnson said...

We used Similac Sensitive, which is lactose free. I know how important breast milk is, but if poor Abigail is as unhappy as Kade was, then sometimes you have to do it. I was a HUGE fan of breastmilk, but it just wasn't feasible anymore. I beat myself up about it, but in Kade's situation, formula was best. Poor little guy was in so much pain on breastmilk. I really hope it helps her! And, you can always try to keep pumping, and try breast milk again after a week or two. Good luck!!!

Sarah Johnson said...

Oh, forgot to mention, we took Kade to a chiropractor, too. It helped him sleep a little better, but unfortunately didn't help his feeding issues. I do think chiropractors are great, though!

Holli Taylor said...

BTW Sarah and Jodi,sorry if my comment seemed unsupportive in anyway...I so didn't mean it like that! Being the moms of micro preemies you have both gone above and beyond.

Jodi said...

Holli, you know I love ya and always know you have my best interest in mind. I did get some Similac Sensitive to try with Abigail. I'm going to try that and pump for a few days. If I notice a huge difference, I'll switch to formula. If I don't, well, I'll finally have some frozen breastmilk stored up. I'm really sad about possibly stopping breastfeeding. It's like ill go through mourning as I have loved it and it calms Abigail so much. So sad.

kris said...

Would you mind letting me know how formula worked? . I'm in exact scenario.

kris said...

My email is rheakris@gmail.com :) Thank you so much!