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Saturday February 04, 2023

Signs of lactose intolerance and how to identify

Recent studies show several people are finding dairy foods hard to digest and are ultimately eliminating them from their diets

By Web Desk
December 08, 2022
Bread, sliced cheese, eggs, and a glass of milk on a table. — Unsplash
Bread, sliced cheese, eggs, and a glass of milk on a table. — Unsplash

The world consumes a lot of milk and dairy products like curd, cheese, butter, and others, but recent studies have shown that many people are finding dairy foods hard to digest and are ultimately eliminating them from their diets. More so than our mental approval of particular food products, our internal system is the primary cause of this issue.

Lactose is the sugar found in milk, as PCOS and GUT Health Nutritionist Avanti Deshpande told Hindustan Times

The lactase enzyme in the small intestine converts lactose-containing foods we eat into the simple sugars glucose and galactose, which are then used by the body. 

The body cannot create enough lactase to break down lactose in the case of lactose intolerance. In that situation, the bacteria that break down the lactose in the gut result in gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea. This might give people a terrible stomach ache and discomfort.

Lactose intolerance is common in youngsters, but it is more obvious in adults, the expert said. In addition to getting older and having less lactase produced, other digestive problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, or drug side effects, particularly from antibiotics and other infections, can also contribute to lactose intolerance.

The health expert said that lactose intolerance and milk allergy are frequently confused with one another, but they are not the same. In contrast to milk allergy, which is an immune system problem brought on by the immune system's reaction to milk protein, lactose intolerance is a digestive problem caused by milk sugars. 

A strong allergy to milk may be lethal. It's critical to accurately diagnose lactose intolerance because the symptoms of both conditions may resemble one another.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea

The nutritionist advised, "You should contact a doctor who can confirm your lactose intolerance through blood testing if you consistently have these symptoms after consuming milk or milk products." 

"You need a complete evaluation before assuming you are lactose intolerant and starting self-restriction. It is essential that you change your diet if you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance in order to effectively address the digestive problem."