When you drink a glass of milk or consume other foods containing dairy does your stomach ache or do you feel bloated and nauseous within an hour or two? The likely cause for your symptoms is a health condition referred to as lactose intolerance.
Signs of lactose intolerance occur because you have a lactase deficiency. Lactase is an enzyme required to break down lactose, a sugar formed from galactose and glucose. Lactose as a whole is essentially useless for your body because it cannot be absorbed through your small intestines.
Unfortunately, your intestinal flora can make use of it. Certain bacteria that’s normally present in your large bowel ferments lactose. A natural by product of this process is the production carbon dioxide gas. And that’s what instigating your symptoms of lactose intolerance like:
Lactose intolerance symptoms vary based on the extent of your deficiency, the amount of this sugar you consume at a given time and the nature of bacteria present in your large intestines.
Are you questioning whether you’re really lactose intolerant because you used to take in dairy without any problems? There’s two reasons why you may experience symptoms now even though you never did before.
One explanation is the production of lactase is gradually decreasing as you age. Large amounts of lactase is necessary during infancy and early childhood when mother’s milk is your main nutritional source. Now you consume a full array of foods, so this enzyme is no longer paramount in sustaining your like. Perfectly natural.
In the other case, lactose intolerance can develop due to some health related condition involving your small intestine, for example:
In very rare instances, lactose intolerance is present at birth because a genetic issue causes a lactase creation failure.
Having lactose intolerance is not considered dangerous, but its symptoms can definitely be intolerant. Since popping some sort of pill to boost your body’s natural production of lactase enzyme is not an option, avoiding symptoms will need to come through some other means of treatment.
Lactose Intolerant Diet
An effective way for treating your dairy causing discomfort is to follow a lactose intolerant diet. In practice, this meal plan diet is highly individualized. Initially it doesn’t mean banning all dairy from your plate and glass. Rather than taking this radical step, you could conduct a test by slowly cutting it back until you reach a tolerable amount. Also, you may find your lactose intolerant diet requires reassessment periodically because lactase generation can fluctuate over time.
For some, their lactose intolerant diet entails a total prohibition to control symptoms. So be aware that lactose is added to numerous prepared foods and medications. Looking for “lactose free” on food labels can help. Although galactose, a component of lactose, is essential to good health, there are plenty of other sources for ingesting this nutrient in a “high fruit and vegetable” diet. While on a lactose free diet, you’ll need to ensure adequate calcium is being consumed via some other source.
Can’t live happily without the taste of milk, cheese or dairy sources in your diet? You’re in luck. You can add your missing lactase enzyme via OTC tablets or drops, such as Lactaid. Yet, some report lactose intolerant symptoms carry on during use. Try it and find out.
Another approach to combat intolerable symptoms from lactose is probiotics because certain bacteria naturally produce enzymes that breakdown lactose. This is why you may tolerate yogurt, but no other dairy.