Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of lactase, an enzyme necessary for the decomposition of lactose. Usually, this enzyme is naturally present in the mucosa of the small intestine. If it’s too low, or if people don’t have it at all, the undigested lactose molecules come to the colon, where the bacteria try to break them down through the process of fermentation. This process further leads to a formation of an extinguishing agent, causing flatulence and colic.


lactose intolerance

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In more serious cases of lactose intolerance, it may even come to vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, if you bloat and have gases after every glass of milk, occurring within 20 minutes to 2 hours, and if you have stomach pain and cramps, followed by nausea, it’s very likely that you suffer from lactose intolerance. And, that your body has troubles digesting milk sugar.

Unlike milk allergy, which is an immune reaction to the proteins in the milk and it’s usually affecting children, especially in their youngest age, lactose intolerance is more common among adolescents and adults. Also, milk allergy can last for a lifetime, while the intolerance to lactose is often temporary, and after some time, it can reduce significantly, or it can completely withdraw.

How To Differentiate Lactose Intolerance And Milk Allergy

Lactose intolerance is often accompanied with pain and stomach cramps, after consuming foods that contain lactose. Also, you get the feeling of bloating and gas. Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which rarely happen.

Milk allergy is what causes you skin rashes, accompanied by symptoms similar to those of lactose intolerance. These include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But, milk allergy also causes symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and often asthma.

If You’re Lactose Intolerant, You Need To Pay Attention To The Following

If you have problems with lactose tolerance, the simplest thing to do is to remove milk entirely from your diet. In regards to other dairy products, low in lactose, usually you can continue to consume them without any problems. For example, many people eat goat cheese without any problems, since it contains small amounts of lactose. The same goes for yogurt and kefir.

If you don’t consume milk, but eat only dairy products (low in lactose), you shouldn’t be worried about a possible vitamin D deficiency, or lack of calcium. Also, you don’t have to intake dietary supplements. For example, a cup of yogurt contains twice the amount of calcium when compared to a cup of milk. According to nutritionists, this makes yogurt more valuable than milk.

Caution! Lactose Also Can Be Found In Some Medicines, Bread And Sauces

In addition to milk and dairy products, lactose can also be found in foods that contain starch, such as certain types of bread, cereals and crackers, pasta and pizza dough. Watch out for sauces based on cream, as they are mostly high in lactose. Many salad dressings contain milk, which can also interfere.

In general, problems cause some ready-made creamy soups, the cream we use for cooking, puddings, and ice cream. Lactose can also be found in some types of drugs. Thus, every time you’re about to buy some medicine, alert the pharmacist for your intolerance.

Keep Your Calcium Levels In Good Condition

People who have major problems with lactose intolerance must avoid dairy products at all cost. Therefore, they must pay attention to their diet, ensuring to intake sufficient amounts of calcium. What’s preferable for them is to increase the intake of green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

Reference:
Lactose intolerance
Lactose Intolerance – Topic Overview
Digestive problems: Lactose intolerance