Living with Lactose Intolerance

Posted by rima on 16 Nov 09

glass milk

Do you feel bloated or suffer from diarrhoea along with abdominal cramps after downing a glass of milk or eating dairy products? Do you experience nausea or flatulence? While there may be a myriad of possible factors that produce the above signs and symptoms, one that is often overlooked is lactose intolerance.

The most common cause of lactose intolerance is a decrease in the amount of lactase. Lactase which is an enzyme responsible for processing or breaking down lactose into simpler form is needed in our small intestines to process lactose which is natural sugar found in dairy products. In the absence of lactase, ingested lactose cannot be processed and this subsequently leads to embarrassing problems of intestinal gas, painful bloating and abdominal cramps as well as diarrhoea.

People who are lactose intolerant have little or no lactase to help them digest lactose. If you’re Asian, you may be interested to know that lactose intolerance is more common in the Asian population due to lack of milk consumption in our diet.

Apart from ethnicity, age is also a factor. Lactose intolerance tends to be less common in babies and young children due to their diet which consists of mainly milk. However, after the age of 5 when our diet is more varied, lactose intolerance incidence is usually higher.  This is because a diet that is less reliant on milk or dairy products results in the decrease of lactase production. Other causes like illness or injury to small intestines may also affect lactase production. In some cases, some babies are just not born with lactase due to hereditary reasons.

There are various tests that can be performed at a clinic to diagnose lactose intolerance. However, a simple self test can be done by observing your body’s reaction to food that contains lactose. So the next time you gulp a glass of milk or eat dairy foods, pay attention to your body and how you feel after. Watch out for symptoms mentioned earlier following 30 minutes up to three hours of dairy product consumption.  If you believe that you suffer from lactose intolerance, avoiding food that contains lactose may be your best bet.

Archived in the category: Your Body

3 comments for “Living with Lactose Intolerance”

1

i also have lactose intolerance that is why i always avoid dairy products.`;’


May 21st, 2010 at 11:01 am
2

well we do have some lactose intolerance in our family and we just cut out on dairy products. “`-


July 26th, 2010 at 2:09 am
3

lactose intolerance makes my stomach turn round when i eat yougurt and other milk products’;;


October 24th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

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