What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose is usually the first things that we consume in the morning. But as we age, our bodies express less and less of the enzyme lactase that helps our bodies break down the lactose in milk and other dairy products. Around 75 percent of the global population will eventually develop lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, they have diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. The condition, which is also called lactose malabsorption, is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable. A deficiency of lactase, an enzyme produced in your small intestine, is usually responsible for lactose intolerance. Many people have low levels of lactase but are able to digest milk products without problems.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Symptoms of lactose intolerance can be mild to severe, depending on how much lactase your body makes. Symptoms usually begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after you eat or drink milk products. If you have lactose intolerance, your symptoms may include:
- Pain or cramps.
- Gurgling or rumbling sounds in your belly.
- Loose stools or diarrhea.
- Throwing up.
How Lactose Intolerance is Diagnosed?
A medical practitioner can usually tell whether you have lactose intolerance. Medical Practitioner may order a hydrogen breath test or a blood sugar test to confirm the diagnosis. These simple tests check to see if you are digesting lactose normally.
Treatment of Lactose Intolerance
There is no cure for lactose intolerance. Symptoms can be avoided by limiting or milk products. Some people use milk with reduced lactose, or they substitute soy milk and soy cheese for milk and milk products. Some people who are lactose-intolerant can eat yogurt without problems, especially yogurt with live cultures. You can also take dietary supplements called lactase products that help digest lactose. In time, most people who have lactose intolerance get to know their bodies well enough to avoid symptoms. Calcium deficiency may occur due to Lactose Intolerance, that can be addressed by taking lactose free calcium supplements.