What is lactose intolerance? Many of us have heard of this condition, but many people still do not know the difference between lactose intolerance and milk allergy. Let us say something about lactose and lactose intolerance.
What is Lactose?
This is a milk sugar. You can find it not only in milk, but also in other milk products (yogurt, cheese, creams etc). This sugar is digested by lactase (an enzyme produced in the small intestine). If there is no lactase in the small intestine, this milk sugar cannot be digested, and this is when the symptoms of lactose intolerance start. Even if you know the symptoms, they are not always easy to detect, especially in babies. It is hard to tell whether it is lactose intolerance or something else. Therefore, it is recommended to take the baby to your doctor and see what is wrong. If it is lactose intolerance, your doctor will tell you what to do to avoid this problem.
Lactose intolerance can be defined as the inability of one’s body to digest lactose. This happens when there is no enough lactase in one’s digestive tract. Lactase is an enzyme that has an important role in lactose metabolizing. This condition is actually a very common one – according to statistics, more than 74 % of people worldwide has lactose intolerance. In some cases, the symptoms are mild, so these people are not even aware that they have lactose intolerance. However, some people are very sensitive. They can experience severe symptoms (severe diarrhea, for example).
How is Lactose Intolerance Diagnosed?
Several types of tests are used in diagnosing lactose intolerance. All of them are very precise and they can be done in any hospital.
How to Prevent the Symptoms
Lactose intolerance is not a dangerous condition. The symptoms can be annoying in some cases, but they are not dangerous in any way. The problem can be avoided if you stop consuming milk and other dairy products. This is not too difficult and it won’t affect your diet very much, since there are good substitutes for these foods. You can find foods that are made for people who have lactose intolerance. However, there is one thing to take care of. Calcium levels must be taken care of, since milk is a great source of calcium. This mineral is very important for your bones and teeth, so if you stop consuming milk and dairy products, you will have to find other ways to get calcium. This shouldn’t be too hard, since there are other foods that contain calcium, like salmon, tuna, sardines, broccoli, soymilk etc. Your nutritionist will help you with your lactose-free diet.