Galactosemia In Infants/Babies – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments 

Galactosemia In Babies

Image: Shutterstock

Is your baby underweight? Does he tend to vomit food often? Does he suffer from convulsions after feeding? If you can relate to the situation, consider reading our post. Your little one may have ‘Galactosemia’. What is it? How does it occur? How do you spot it? How do you treat it? Get all the answers here.

What Is Galactosemia In Infants?

Galactosemia is a disease in which your infant is unable to digest the simplest form of sugar or galactose. Galactose occurs in most dairy products and breast milk. A spike in galactose levels can damage your liver, central nervous system and other systems of the body. Excess galactose can be toxic and trigger galactosemia in babies.

[ Read: Causes Of Epilepsy In Babies ]

Causes Of Galactosemia:

Galactosemia is a congenital disease, which can be hereditary. Typically, the body fails to produce an enzyme Galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT). The lack of GALT levels prevents the breakdown of galactose into glucose, which leads to a galactose spike in your bloodstream.

Symptoms Of Galactosemia In Infants:

Infants who suffer from galactosemia develop some of the following symptoms:

  • Poor feeding or sucking
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Poor weight gain
  • Cataracts

If your baby has galactosemia, these symptoms will appear within a week of the start of breastfeeding. If you overlook the condition, your little one may also exhibit severe symptoms like:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Seizures
  • Serious blood infection that may prove to be fatal
  • Enlarged liver that might not function properly
  • Jaundice

If your little one exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to take her to a doctor immediately. If you are lucky enough to spot the condition earlier, shift your little angel onto a non-galactose diet.

[ Read: Metabolic Disorder In Babies ]

Treatment For Galactosemia:

As galactosemia is a genetic condition, there is no treatment for it. The best thing to do is take precautionary measures to avoid any harmful effect. Here we list some ways solutions to reduce and restrict the symptoms of the condition.

1. Soy Milk:

If your infant has galactosemia, don’t worry just yet. A few precautions with your infant’s diet will help him grow up to become a healthy girl. Galactosemia is a milk-related disorder, and you can treat it by feeding your little one a milk-free diet. You will have to avoid her feed of breast milk. Try using soy milk instead of regular milk. Soy milk is rich in essential nutrients, but no galactose.

[ Read: Milk Allergy in Infants ]

2. Calcium Supplements:

As a mom, fussing over your baby’s health is inevitable. However, don’t panic. Milk is not the only source of calcium. Consult your doctor for calcium supplements to include in her diet. As she cannot drink breast milk or any other milk-based formula, she can fulfill her requirement of calcium through supplements.

3. Vitamin D And K Supplements:

When you eliminate milk from a baby’s diet, you remove essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D and Vitamin K are such essential vitamins, which stimulate calcium absorption in the body. If your little one has galactosemia and he can’t have milk, ensure that you speak to the doctor so that she gets her daily supply of Vitamin D and K supplements.

[ Read: Vitamin D For Babies ]

If your little one is born with galactosemia, don’t be disheartened. Follow the preventive measures, tips and tricks above and ensure your little angel grows up to be a strong and healthy girl. Remember that the condition will not go away, so keep in touch with your pediatrician regularly. With the right efforts and diet plan, you can help your baby have a healthy life.

We hope you found the information on infant galactosemia helpful? Leave a comment below.

Featured Image