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Monday, 11 February 2013 08:27

Getting Control over Lactose Intolerance Featured

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Getting control over lactose intolerance with simple tips…

glass-of-milkJenny landed in embarrassing situation every time when she hangs up with friends with flavors of ice creams. Always she shivers with a glass of milk offered by her mother. Invariably, she experienced bloating belly with consumption of dairy products. When she visits her doctor gets diagnosed with “Lactose Intolerance."

Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body can’t digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk and milk products. Lactose is the predominant sugar found in milk and person with lactose intolerance has inability to digest this sugar.

What causes lactose intolerance?

Normally, lactose from milk or dairy products breaks down into glucose and galactose in the digestive tract. These sugars gets absorbed into bloodstream and used for energy production. This conversion takes place with ‘Lactase’, an enzyme requiring for a lactose break down. Person with lactose intolerance has insufficient lactase, which is the main culprit for the incidence of symptoms.

When a small intestine is fail to produce a sufficient amount of lactase, lactose from milk remains undigested. Undigested lactose moves through the large intestine and serves as a food for colonic microorganism. This results in uncomfortable symptoms like gas/bloating and abdominal cramps.

It runs in families and common in adult, especially develop as one gets older. Incidences occur as secondary to some illness also.

What person experiences?

Depending on lactase deficiency and amount of lactose consumed, symptoms vary from person to person and may be mild to severe in intensity. Usually symptoms begin within 30min to 2 hours after eating or drinking of milk products.

Person notices nausea, abdominal bloating, pain or cramps, gurgling sounds in belly, gas, loose stool, and diarrhea.

Different from milk allergy

According to WIC and Nutrition Services, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, lactose intolerance is different from milk allergy.

Lactose intolerance is due to insufficiency of lactase, whereas milk allergy is an abnormal immune reaction to protein in cow’s milk. Patient with lactose intolerance experiences an upset digestive system with consumption of milk and dairy products. However, a person with milk allergy exhibits allergic symptoms like swelling, sneezing, hives, rash, itching, runny nose, coughing, and difficulty in breathing, gas and diarrhea on milk consumption.

Dealing with lactose intolerance

As there is no permanent cure, symptoms can be reduced with adoption of following tips…

  • Limit consumption of milk and dairy products.
  • Eat or drink small serving of milk products based on your lactose tolerance level.
  • Use lactose reduced or lactose –free milk or substitute with soy milk, soy cheese for milk and milk products.
  • Some can eat yogurt as it contains less lactose sugar.
  • Get dietary supplement with enzyme lactase that helps in lactose digestion.
  • Read the label on other foodstuffs also because many contain lactose sugar. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse listed them as breads, waffles, biscuits, cookies, potato chips, soups, processed meat and candies and many more.
  • Keep a food diary and note down every menu with which you experience abdominal symptoms. This will help to keep you away from such foodstuff in a future.

As milk is enriched with many vital nutrients, complete stoppage of milk and milk products can result in nutritional deficiency. Milk is major source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A and D.

So enrich your diet with plain meat, fish and poultry, fruits and vegetables, bread, and cereals to balance the nutritional deficiencies.

As calcium is a major ingredient of milk so limiting milk can make your bone brittle. Hence get your calcium from alternative sources like broccoli, turnip green, sardines, tuna, salmon, calcium-fortified juices or cereals, almonds and soybeans.

Read 3315 times Last modified on Monday, 11 February 2013 09:12

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