My oldest daughter was premature by 6 weeks. She was one of the lucky ones and didn’t need to be on a respirator longer than a day. Preemies, as I found out later, can be very fussy and need peace and quiet. But my preemie, who I nicknamed Cujo, would cry all of the time no matter what I did. My pediatrician suggested giving her a colic medication to settle her stomach, which I did. Unfortunately, it had little effect. The next course of action was to try a soy based formula. After a few days, she stopped fussing as much. It was like a miracle.
Then I had two more children and my pediatrician suggested starting them on the soy formula, too, since dairy intolerance can run in families. This seemed to work and my children were all happy and content. As they grew, my first born always had problems with loose stools and even full blown diarrhea. I figured it was because she’d been a preemie and had some lasting effects that she’d hopefully out grow. The pediatrician did an exam and said she was healthy and suggested that she might be lactose intolerant. I immediately switched her to soy milk. She never really like cheese very much, so this wasn’t a problem.
But even with soy milk, she continued to have intolerant symptoms. She’d have to run to the bathroom about 10 minutes or so after eating a single cookie or piece of cake. I was stumped. Slowly, we started eliminating anything with dairy from her diet. The obvious came first. No ice cream. Then I tried the over the counter lactose pills. These were awkward to use and we had to try to remember that she’d need to swallow or chew one each time she ate anything containing dairy. Half of the time, she forgot, and the other half, I forgot. Or, we’d be at a restaurant and neither of us brought the pills with us. Since she was evidently very sensitive to all dairy products, even eating a single cookie or slice of cake, pizza or chocolate bar was enough to disrupt her digestive system. It was almost impossible to monitor exactly what had dairy in it.
I would always research on the internet and check the pharmacy counters for new products and one day, I found one. This product, Digestive Advantage, claimed that only one pill a day was required to control lactose intolerancy for the entire day. I was skeptical, but thought it was worth a try. My daughter was excited to think that this might provide a relatively easy fix for her problem, so she tried it right away. Since it’s a product that actually builds up in the system over a few days, she didn’t notice much the first day, but by the second day and 2 pills later, she was eating cheese pizza, ice cream and real milk. She’s been using this product now for over a year and has only had a problem if she overdoes the dairy. But we figured out that if she takes an additional pill just before she eats a large dose of dairy, she’ll be fine. Overall, she’s thrilled and can live a normal life without worrying about every little thing she eats.