There are a lot of people who suffer from lactose intolerance. However, depending on the intensity of the problem, the treatment for this condition is decided.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and some dairy products. Intolerance to this sugar is a condition where the person is not able to digest or absorb lactose. It is also known as hypolactasia or lactase deficiency. This condition is seen when milk or milk products are consumed. Lactose in itself is made up of glucose and galactose.
An enzyme known as lactase is responsible for the absorption of lactose in the body. It is caused due to a reduced or absent activity of lactase, which prevents the splitting of lactose. It is caused due to congenital, secondary, or developmental causes. Sometimes, this condition can also be confused with cow’s milk protein allergy; however, both these conditions are different from each other.
Lactose Intolerance Symptoms
These symptoms can be seen anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking milk or milk products. The severity of hypolactasia depends on how severe is the intolerance towards lactose.
It is fairly easy to treat hypolactasia. In a majority of cases, modifying the diet is a way to treat the condition. At the same time, there is another factor which you will have to take into consideration. It is important to find out how sensitive the person is to food products containing lactose. You may have to experiment with what you can eat and what you cannot. However, never make the changes in one go. You will have to introduce new food products to your system gradually. This will ensure that you get to the food you are sensitive to, easily.
At the same time, it is not recommended to completely eliminate any food product from the diet, as it can cause several deficiencies. The most common is calcium deficiency which includes some important minerals. If a person is severely intolerant to lactose, it is always good to talk to your healthcare professional so that you do not suffer in any form due to the condition.
Sometimes, changing the quantity of milk in your diet can help treat the condition. In some cases, people are able to digest milk in tea or coffee, but cannot have milk with a cereal. There are people who cannot digest milk on its own, but they are able to digest it when consumed as a part of a meal. There are others who are able to digest milk with chocolate. There is milk available at the grocery stores, which is less in lactose. Even if small amounts of milk trigger off the symptoms, you will have to opt for milk alternatives.
Often, it is seen that some of the dairy products are easier to digest than others, as these products contain less lactose as compared to milk itself. Fermented dairy products can also be chosen, as they are easier to digest. It is important to find out which dairy products suit your condition. Consume them regularly, as they provide essential nutrients required for the body.
In case you are absolutely intolerant to lactose, you will have to find out ways through which you will be able to get the required nutrients. To provide the body with calcium, you can opt for vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, okra, dry fruits, soya drinks laden with calcium, tofu, and nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, etc. It is important to remember that for better calcium absorption in the body, you will have to make sure that you also consume sufficient amounts of vitamin D, as it helps in absorption of calcium. It is recommended to talk to your healthcare professional to make sure you are getting all the required nutrients from your daily diet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.