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Lactose Intolerance – Body?s Inability To Digest Lactose

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactase deficiency or lactose intolerance is a condition wherein your body loses the ability to digest lactose (milk sugar) completely in the dairy products. Even though, lactose intolerance is not dangerous, yet its symptoms can be distressing.

Lactase is the enzyme which is produced by our small intestine’s lining. Deficiency in lactase leads to lactose intolerance. Its symptoms can be controlled by planning a diet which limits the consumption of dairy products.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

Its symptoms usually begin after 30 minutes of consumption of lactose containing food. Common symptoms include:

Usually the symptoms are mild, however may turn severe sometimes.

When is the high time to consult a doctor?

Immediately consult your doctor in case your child or you have any discomforting symptom after consuming a dairy product.

What causes lactose intolerance?

Inadequate levels of lactase in small intestine are responsible for causing lactose intolerance. Lactase is the enzyme which is produced by our small intestine’s lining. It mixes with the lactose molecules present in our food, breaking the molecules into 2 sugars- galactose and glucose- these molecules then become absorbent enough to enter your bloodstream.

Lacking such important lactase enzyme results countless of lactose molecules to go unprocessed into your colon, where intestinal bacteria tend to interact with them resulting lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance is classified into 3 types:

  • Primary lactose intolerance: the type occurs when the production of lactase gradually decreases due to varied diet and less milk reliant.
  • Secondary lactose intolerance: the type occurs when the production of lactase decreases by small intestine after an injury, illness or surgery to the small intestine. Moreover, it also occurs due to the intestinal diseases.
  • Congenital lactose intolerance: the type is inherited passed on from parents to their baby. Complete lactase activity absence in infants causes them lactose intolerant in breast milk.

Mention the risk factors of lactose intolerance?

Few factors that make your child and you more likely to develop lactose intolerance include:

  • Ethnicity: more common in American Indian, Hispanic, Asian and black people.
  • Premature birth.
  • Increasing age.
  • Diseases that affect your small intestine.
  • Specific cancer treatments.

How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?

The doctor can diagnose lactose intolerance on the basis of your symptoms; moreover, he will also observe the response of your body by reducing the dairy foods amount in the diet. In order to confirm the condition, he may suggest certain tests:

  • Hydrogen breathe test.
  • Lactose tolerance test.
  • Stool acidity test.

How is lactose intolerance treated?

Sadly, there is no cure for lactose intolerance. Currently, there is no particular way that can help boost the production of lactase in your body. Individuals with the condition usually relive their symptoms by reducing their consumption of dairy products. Instead, they can use certain special products that are particularly made for individuals with lactose intolerance.


By : Natural Health News

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