WHEN little Izzy Toms started having severe diarrhoea her mum Selma was desperate to try and find out what was causing it and what could be done to help.

It took four months for the problem to be diagnosed as ulcerative colitis – an inflammatory bowel disease.

During that uncertain time Selma tried changing Izzy’s diet to see if it would help relieve the symptoms and she also consulted a friend’s daughter who is a nutritionist.

“I was looking for an answer. As a mum, I was really puzzled about how this had happened and I wanted to try and help her.

“She was about four years old and while she was waiting for a diagnosis, which took about four months, I was trying to change her diet to help.

“I was desperate. The nutritionist thought it might be a reaction to gluten or that she was coeliac. I also tried a lactose-free diet and gave her soya and other milk. It did not seem to make any difference,” said Selma, who originates from Turkey and now lives in Fernhill Heath with her husband Matt and their two daughters.

“I come from a Mediterranean country where there are goats and I know they eat the right things. I said ‘Why not try goat’s milk’. The calcium is higher in goat’s milk than cow’s milk.

“She really loved it and it did not make the colitis worse and she was getting all the calcium she needed.”

Once the ulcerative colitis was diagnosed Izzy was given medication but continued to drink goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk.

Selma said they still don’t know what caused the colitis. “It could be genetic or due to environmental factors, a virus or stress. I was pregnant with my second child at the time and we were also moving house so that could have been stressful.”

So when the second baby, Hazel, arrived Selma did not want to risk the same thing happening so she started drinking goat’s milk from about the age of two.

Selma said: “Both girls have enjoyed goats’ milk since they were about two years old. Many of our friends couldn’t believe how much the girls love it until they tasted it themselves and realised how mild it is.”

The young siblings enjoy a particular brand of goat’s milk from Yorkshire, produced by St Helen’s Farm, and the company takes the opportunity of printing stories and pictures sent in by their customers.

Selma said the girls now aged eight and four had been reading the stories on the cartons and Izzy nagged her to send in their story too.

The Toms’ story is appearing on one million St Helen’s Goat’s Milk cartons, which are currently on sale in major supermarkets.

St Helen’s Farm Sales and Marketing Manager, Mike Hind, said: “We receive lots of stories from people that have switched to goats’ milk and have found that the symptoms of a number of health conditions have improved.

“The family’s love of our goats’ milk is obvious and it is fantastic they have all enjoyed benefits from switching, so this is our way of saying thank you for helping to spread the word.”

The company says many people who can’t drink cows’ milk can drink goats’ milk – and claim their intolerance symptoms are reduced or disappear altogether. These symptoms often include: eczema; asthma; bloatedness; constipation; digestive discomfort and catarrh.