Lactase Deficiency in Children

What is Lactase Deficiency in Children?

Lactase deficiency – a condition that is characterized by a decrease in the activity of the lactase enzyme in the small intestine, proceeds latently or manifestly (explicitly).

Lactase deficiency in children is of two types: congenital and secondary (acquired).

Primary lactase deficiency is congenital, transient (in premature infants), constitutional. The congenital type is genetically determined.

Secondary lactase deficiency is associated with damage to the enterocyte during infectious, atrophic, immune changes, and can also occur under the action of trophic factors.

Pathogenesis during Lactase Deficiency in Children

Lactose is a disaccharide that contains galactose and glucose. In the small intestine, lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose, in which the enzyme lactazoflorizin hydrolase plays an important role.

When a child begins to eat as an adult, the activity of lactase decreases, the activity of sucrose and maltase increases. The rate of decrease in enzyme activity depends on genetic factors, mainly on ethnicity.

If the lactase activity is too low, and the food received in the small intestine is not digested, undigested lactose enters the colon. Microorganisms feed on it there.

Glucocorticosteroids, like insulin, increase lactase activity during gestation. Short chain fatty acids, biogenic amines, amino acids, nucleotides also increase lactase activity.

Symptoms of Lactase Deficiency in Children

Depending on the degree of reduction of the enzyme and the individual characteristics of the body, various clinical symptoms appear:

  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • stomach ache
  • frothy sour stool
  • anxiety after drinking milk
  • loose stools
  • colitis

Lactase deficiency in children can affect the formation of electrolyte-electrolyte disturbances, polyhypovitaminosis. The result is a delay in the development of the child.