Updated: May 24
You know the feeling pain, bloating, mild nausea... the need to find a washroom, and quick! You also know why its happening! That irresistible cheesecake brought in by your co-worker. We have all been there and will probably go there again!
Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body is unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which usually occur within 30 minutes to 2 hours of consuming dairy products. While lactose intolerance is not a serious medical condition, it can significantly affect the quality of life for those affected.
Lactose intolerance occurs when the body doesn't produce enough lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose in the small intestine. This can be due to genetics, or damage to the small intestine, such as from an infection, autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease or surgery. It can also be a result of aging, as lactase production decreases with age.
There is no cure for lactose intolerance, but there are ways to manage the symptoms. One option is to avoid consuming dairy products altogether. However, this can be challenging as lactose is found in many foods beyond just milk and cheese. Lactose-free alternatives are available, such as lactose-free milk and cheese, and there are also non-dairy sources of calcium, such as leafy greens and fortified foods.
Another option is to take lactase supplements or digestive enzymes before consuming dairy products. These supplements contain lactase enzyme, which helps the body break down lactose and reduce symptoms. It's important to note that not all lactase supplements are created equal, so it's important to read labels carefully and talk to a healthcare professional before taking them.
In conclusion, lactose intolerance is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While there is no cure, there are ways to manage symptoms and still enjoy a healthy, balanced diet. It's important to understand the condition and work with a knowledgeable healthcare professional to find the best solution for each individual.
Check out the CDI Health Practitioner directory to find the right professional to help you on your wellness journey.