Feces for carbohydrates in infants

Young children often have digestive problems. To find out their origin and choose treatment tactics, doctors prescribe various diagnostic studies. Feces for carbohydrates in infants are investigated in case of suspicion of the presence of lactase deficiency in the child.

The study allows to determine with high accuracy the causes of disruption of the digestive tract in infants, namely, to evaluate the process of breakdown and assimilation of carbohydrates.

As a rule, this analysis is carried out in the first year of a child’s life, since in most cases the signs of lactase deficiency pass over time, and the baby’s digestion returns to normal.

Why take an analysis

A study of feces for carbohydrates is carried out in case of lactose malabsorption or intolerance of infants foods that contain milk sugar. The analysis determines the norm of carbohydrate content in the feces of the newborn, which is extremely important for children of the first year of life, since during this period their main diet is milk.

If, as a result of the diagnosis, elevated carbohydrates in the feces of the baby are detected, it is most likely that the child’s body is not able to absorb lactose or milk sugar. This is a sign of a threat to his health and development.

Not only does this disease cause severe discomfort in the baby (abdominal pain, colic and increased gas formation), lactase deficiency also makes it impossible to fully absorb nutrients from milk. And this becomes the reason for insufficient weight, a lag in physical development, etc. That’s why it is necessary to conduct an analysis, and if the carbohydrates in the feces of the baby are elevated – look for the causes of this condition.


The main indication for the analysis of feces for carbohydrates in infants, as mentioned above, is the suspicion of lactase deficiency.

The following symptoms may indicate this:

  • Lag in physical development. Symptom suggests that in the feces of the newborn, the carbohydrate content is increased against the background of enzymopathy – insufficient absorption of nutrients by the body. In this case, it is recommended to systematically monitor the weight and height of the child, and if he does not meet the age criteria, contact specialists.
  • Frequent and plentiful stools of watery consistency (up to 8 times a day), sometimes with a sour smell and mucus.
  • Constipation, colic, bloating.
  • Allergic rashes on the skin.
  • Difficult to treat iron deficiency anemia.

All these symptoms cannot be ignored. But to diagnose lactase deficiency only on the basis of clinical signs of the disease is wrong. A diagnosis can be confirmed by analysis of feces for carbohydrates in infants and its interpretation by a specialist.

Preparing for carbohydrate stool analysis

In order for the study to be reliable, that is, the norms of carbohydrates in the feces of the newborn correspond to their present value, it is necessary to correctly collect biological material for analysis.

It is important to take feces not from the baby’s diaper, but from a clean oilcloth or other non-absorbent surface, immediately after the baby has emptied his intestines. For the study, feces in the amount of a teaspoon are enough, while its liquid part should be collected.

Before carrying out the analysis, the baby should receive the same nutrition as usual. No need to introduce new foods into his diet or disrupt the diet of a nursing mother. Otherwise, the result of the analysis may be far from the truth.

Defecation of the child should be spontaneous. Fecal masses for analysis are collected in a special sterile plastic container, which is hermetically sealed. You can buy it at any pharmacy.

The container with the collected material for the study must be delivered to the laboratory within 4 hours. The results of the analysis usually become known after 2 days.


The rate of carbohydrates in feces in infants is from 0 to 0.25%. Indicators of 0.3-0.5% are considered a slight deviation of the study. In this case, nothing needs to be done.

The average deviation from the normal carbohydrate content in feces in infants is an indicator of 0.6-1%. In this situation, observation and a test for the acidity of feces may be recommended.

A cause for concern is the increased content of carbohydrates in the feces of the newborn – more than 1-1.65%. This condition requires treatment.

Deviations from the norm

Examination of children under the age of three months practically does not allow determining the recommended norm of carbohydrates in feces in an infant. At such a tender age, a microbial biofilm is still forming in the digestive tract, and enzymatic processes in the intestine develop. That’s why with increased carbohydrates in the feces, the newborn should not worry. In no case should you stop breastfeeding. Most likely, further analysis will have to be repeated.

Various deviations from the normal level of carbohydrates in the feces in infants usually indicate conditions such as dysbiosis or immaturity of the enzymatic systems of the digestive tract. In this case, the pediatrician can prescribe additional studies and carry out therapeutic and preventive measures aimed at correcting microbiological disorders in the intestines of the baby.

It would be wrong to self-medicate, especially if the result of the analysis for carbohydrates in feces in infants is more than 2.0%.

The need to determine the amount of carbohydrates in the baby’s feces requires 1 out of 15 newborns. This study does not always give a positive result.

Timely determination of the carbohydrate norm in feces for an infant is an important diagnostic measure, which becomes a sure step towards recovery if any pathologies are discovered. Therefore, it is not necessary to worry about the fact that the child is assigned this analysis.

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