Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. That means you will not see your comment when you post it. It will instead show up within 48 hours, along with my response if one is appropriate.

All comments are welcome and will be posted, even if they are negative. You just can't promote other sites or products in them.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at

Otherwise, this blog and my Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse are now legacy sites, meaning that I am not updating them any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

My old website can be found at

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Josie Brooklyn Duggar Going Home After LI Scare

I watch The Soup, the snarky snow about weird and annoying people on television. I've been a fan since the early days when Greg Kinnear was hosting it as Talk Soup. I need my Soup, because otherwise I would be blankly ignorant about most of American television, especially the reality show part of it. I've never watched a reality series. Ever. I may have watched a full episode of one at some point but my memory's hazy because of all the brain cells that would have killed.

So programs like E's The Soup - and its compatriots like Style's The Dish and Current's InfoMania - are what keep me from being the grandfather in the comic strip The Pickles. And thanks to The Soup I recognize a reference to 19 Kids and Counting, the deeply disturbing show about a family that started the series with 17 children and couldn't stop reproducing. The mother, Michelle Duggar, is now 43, an age when problems can often occur with greater frequency. Baby #19, Josie Brooklyn, was born premature though an emergency C-section, weighing a tiny and dangerous 1 lb., 6 oz. Josie has been in and out of the hospital since.

RealityTVWorld reported in early May that:

Despite the weight gain, doctors are still trying to learn why Josie is suffering from several digestive issues that require her to receive enemas at six-hour intervals.

Since May Josie's gained two more pounds, up to 7 lb, 6 oz now, and doctors have figured out what her problem was.

Lactose intolerance.

Now it's often true that premature babies suffer from lactose intolerance. The ability of the intestines to make lactase is one of the last aspects to develop and is usually not up to near-full strength until shortly before birth. Those babies are therefore born with intestines that do not handle lactose well. This is extremely well-known and any competent pediatric gastroenterologist will compensate for it.

I can't begin to explain why a baby would need enemas four times a day for any issues relating to lactose intolerance. None of the articles I could find give any additional explanation.

I have to believe this was a highly unusual outcome. Most premature babies begin drinking milk normally within a few weeks of birth. Josie Brooklyn was born extremely early and may have had other problems as well, so she is not indicative of what is likely to happen to your premature infant. I'm glad the doctors did figure things out. She is going home, this time hopefully permanently. I wish them all good health.

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