Every baby born at a U.S. hospital is given what’s called a newborn screening. A blood sample is taken from a heel stick (a tiny cut in the baby’s foot) and it is tested for several conditions. Galactosemia is one of them.
If your baby shows signs of the illness, your doctor will suggest a follow-up test to confirm. This test will include both a blood and urine sample.
If your child has galactosemia, your doctor will work with you to plan a diet. Lactose and galactose are taken out of their diet. Instead, they’re given soy-based formula and must avoid milk or milk byproducts.
Though a person with galactosemia will never be able to process this type of sugar, they can live normal lives if the disease is caught early enough.
Along with eliminating dairy, your doctor may recommend cutting out some fruits, vegetables, and candies that contain galactose. In addition, your child may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements such as calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin K.