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Tummy Troubles

Tummy Troubles: Infant Diarrhea

Nutrition Q&A on Tummy Discomforts

Tummy QA 1

Will a lactose-free diet help eliminate gastro discomfort in children?

It can be helpful if the gastro discomfort is due to lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose (a type of milk sugar), so lactose stays in the digestive system where it's fermented by bacteria. This leads to the production of gases and watery stools. There is some evidence that a reduced lactose diet can help children with lactose intolerance.

Tummy QA 2

Does soy or goat milk formula help in relieving diarrhoea? Any recommendations of their usage?

It will be difficult to make a recommendation for soy or goat milk formula as a treatment for diarrhoea. It really depends on the cause of the diarrhoea. If the diarrhoea is due to lactose intolerance, then Lactose-Free milk and soy milk (which does not contain lactose) will be helpful. Goat's milk, which also contains lactose, will not be helpful if the diarrhoea is due to lactose intolerance.

Tummy QA 3

Infantile colic (inconsolable crying) not only affects bottle-fed children, but also breastfed children. How can probiotics help to relief the symptoms on breastfed children?

Studies have shown that the amount of fussing and crying in early infancy can be interconnected to the development of the gut flora. Use of probiotics may help alleviate the symptoms of colic. Certain probiotics, like Lactobacillus reuteri when added to the diet has been found to reduce the symptoms of infantile colic in breastfed children. However, the effects of probiotics are both strain and clinical condition-specific, and it cannot be generalised.

Good bacteria in the gut promotes healthy stomach.

What is Lactobacillus Reuteri?

Lactobacillus Reuteri can be naturally found in the human body. It is one of the well-researched probiotics and has been used in management of certain functional gastrointestinal conditions. Please consult your doctor for medical advices.

Lactobacillus Reuteri, a beneficial bacteria (also known as probiotics), is able to promote a healthy balanced gut flora in the child's digestive system. There are studies to show that it supports the gut health. The reported beneficial effects include:

  • Softened stools
  • Shorten the duration of diarrhoea
  • Decrease amounth of spit ups
  • Lessen crying time of colicky babies

Reviewed by Dr Marion Aw

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.
Head & Senior Consultant, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Liver Transplantation and Nutrition. Department
of Pediatrics, Khoo Teck Puat - National University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital Singapore.

Adapted from Nestlé Baby and Me brochure, Tummy Troubles

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