Unraveling The Mysteries Of Lactose Intolerance

Unraveling The Mysteries Of Lactose Intolerance

Medical Issues Parenting Help   Diarrhea, embarrassing gas, and uncomfortable bloating. These are the symptoms of lactose (or, milk sugar) intolerance. Over 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from the condition and certain ethnicities (for example, Asians and African Americans) are more susceptible to it than others. The disorder is not life-threatening, but it can lead to enough discomfort that patients will take their own preventative measures.

In this article, we’ll uncover the root cause of lactose intolerance and describe how the condition is typically diagnosed. Because it is so common, we’ll also provide tips for modifying your diet in order to prevent the uncomfortable – and embarrassing – symptoms.

Understanding The Root Cause

An enzyme called lactase is produced by the cells on the inside lining of your small intestine. That enzyme allows your body to digest lactose found in milk products. The problem is that our bodies begin producing less lactase after we reach 2 years of age. This eventually causes a deficiency which impairs our ability to digest dairy products.

It’s worth noting that an inability to digest cow’s milk does not imply lactose intolerance; the two conditions are unrelated. Furthermore, while many people stop producing lactase naturally at an early age, the condition can be worsened if the small intestine is injured.

Diagnosing The Condition

A doctor will often be able to diagnose the disorder simply by hearing a description of your symptoms.Medical Issues Parenting Help   However, one or more tests are usually performed in order to validate that diagnosis. The first test requires that you consume a liquid containing a high milk sugar content. Under normal circumstances, lactase will begin turning it into glucose and galactose. Your doctor will take blood samples in order to identify whether your glucose levels are rising.

The second test begins with the same liquid. However, rather than taking blood samples, your doctor will track the level of hydrogen present in your breath. When lactose is not fully digested, it reaches your colon and produces hydrogen, some of which is expelled through your breath.

The third test involves identifying the level of acidity in a person’s stool. Undigested milk sugar in the colon produces lactic acid which will be present in stool samples. This test is usually performed on children because the high milk sugar content of the liquid used in the other two tests can be harmful to them.

Changing Your Dietary Habits

Because this disorder is caused by your body’s inability to produce enough lactase to fully digest dairy products, you can avoid symptoms by changing your diet. Aside from severe cases, you can consume a small level of dairy products without worrying about symptoms. In fact, such products (for example, milk) can be a rich source of calcium and vitamin A.

That being said, limit your consumption. For example, drink smaller amounts of milk less frequently. Experiment with dairy products that contain lower levels of milk sugar. Also, review the ingredients in common products that you purchase. Salad dressings, canned soups, and certain types of cereal can contain lactose, increasing your consumption without your realizing it. Fortunately, lactose intolerance is a condition that you can control easily on your own. But, doing so requires vigilance over what you eat and drink as well as the diligence to limit yourself.

In Virginia finding the right doctor for atrial fibrillation or aortic aneurysm is crucial. Visit the Virginia Surgery specialists .

Author: ParentingMaven

Share This Post On