Are You Free From Lactose Intolerance?

Posted In: Gastroenterologist     2018-02-21     37

What is lactose intolerance? – It is a common and distressing condition that affects nearly 75% of people around the planet. Lactose is a sugar mostly found in milk and milk products, to digest this sugar completely your small intestine produces the enzyme called lactase. This enzyme helps in breaking down the lactose into galactose and glucose, for easy absorption by the body.


When your body lacks the ability to produce lactase, the result is lactose intolerance. The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance start when the body fails to digest the lactose and it is not completely absorbed.  


Common symptoms of lactose intolerance


Some of the common signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

·         Gas

·         Diarrhea

·         Bloated stomach

·         Swelling of the abdomen

·         Abdominal pain

·         Cramping in the abdomen

·         Nausea, vomiting

·         Acne

·         Headaches

·         Migraines


The above-given signs of lactose intolerance can show up anytime from 30 minutes to 2 days after you consume dairy products, and these symptoms can vary from mild to severe.


How to diagnose lactose intolerance?


If you’re facing bloating, cramps, and diarrhea soon after drinking milk or consuming any milk products, your doctor may test you for lactose intolerance. Some of the tests include:

·         Lactose intolerance test

·         Hydrogen breath test

·         Stool acidity test


Treatment & management of lactose intolerance


Apparently, no treatment is available to make your body produce more lactose. The only way to treat lactose intolerance is by limiting or completely cutting off milk or milk products from the diet.

Many people lactose intolerance can still consume a ½ cup of milk without facing any distressful symptoms. Nowadays, you can also get lactose-free milk products at most supermarkets. And not all dairy products have an abundance of lactose. You can still gorge on some hard cheeses, including Swiss, cheddar, and Parmesan, or cultured milk products such as yogurt. Low-fat or fat-free milk products have less lactose.


Even over-the-counter lactase enzyme is available in pill, drops, capsule or chewable form to eat before having dairy products and the drops can also be fixed to a carton of milk.