Friday, 10 February 2012
Answers In - Lactose Out
Finally after being in a Buffalo laboratory for weeks Maxwell's biopsy results have come back and thankfully something has tested positive. I don't say thankfully because I am glad that there is a problem but I say thankfully because now we know what the problem is and we can address it.
Maxwell has tested positive for something called Lactase Deficiency, like most people you are probably thinking Lactose Intolerance and while you are on the right track this is slightly different.
Lactase (also known as lactase-phlorizin hydrolase, or LPH) is an enzyme that resides mostly in the small intestine and its job is to break down lactose within the body.
When you are lactose intolerant it means that you have a reduced amount of lactase in your system but your body still has the ability to produce the enzyme
- Maxwell does not, he lacks that enzyme completely.
This diagnosis confused me at first because last year at the request of the paediatrician we did cut out most dairy and saw little benefit. At first I thought that this was because I didn't cut out things like milk chocolate or the occasional dollop of sour cream but what I didn't know was how much "hidden" dairy there is in food that you don't consider.
I had no idea that "Whey" is a dairy product and can be found in everything.... bread, candy, condiments, dairy, dessert, fast food, processed fruits and veggies, liqueurs, processed meat, medications and grains.
Other terms for whey include beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptide (GMP), alpha-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, immunoglobulin, lactoperoxidase, bovine serum albumin (BSA), transferrin, lipases, or lysozyme.
Here I was thinking that we were cutting out the things harmful to him when in reality I was allowing him to fill up on things that still weren't good.
I have spoken with the dietitian and will be meeting with her multiple times but from our initial conversations she said that I should switch Maxwell to a lactose free milk and focus on fuelling him with fresh fruits and veggies, unprocessed meat and that while the occasional "normal" snack is ok it should be kept small and infrequent. I am going to have to learn how to make things from scratch and she said that it may not hurt to speak to some "strict vegans" about some of the food that they eat because they avoid Whey.
We are still waiting to hear back from the specialist but this lacking enzyme is likely congenital and so if I ever have any more children I will need to follow the same diet when breastfeeding but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
With being only two Maxwell may not ever remember how tasty a milkshake is and he will have to be content with a Popsicle from the ice cream truck on a hot summer day instead of an ice cream cone. I remember how sad I used to be having to pass on food when everyone else was indulging (I had a chocolate allergy until my teen years) but sadly its just one of those sucky parts of life that Max will just have to get used to.
I am just glad that we got an answer while he is young and now we can start making him feel better and hopefully grow. Things like potty training may be easier once he is able to gain some control over his bowels, diaper rashes may become a thing of the past and his overall disposition may improve once he isn't dealing with chronic stomach aches anymore, not to mention I may be able to stop spending the small fortune that I currently spend on diapers and wipes (I'm sure I'll end up spending it at the health food store though)
I've resisted the urge to open a Pinterest account but now I may consider doing it, my brain is whirling with recipes to find, gardens to create and fancy aprons to wear while I become more domesticated!