Do you like milk, ice-creams, cream, cheese but often feel bloated or develop an upset stomach after eating these products? These symptoms might be an indication of lactose intolerance.
Well, you may deny it as you always enjoyed milk and milk-based products but it is a fact that lactose intolerance can happen at any age. In other words, your digestive system can suddenly turn intolerant to lactose – a type of sugar present in milk.
What Causes Sudden Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance happens when your body fails to produce a substance called lactase, that can breakdown lactose into two parts – glucose and galactose, enabling easy absorption into blood stream.
In severe cases, it may even lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and milk protein intolerance.
Is Lactose Intolerance And Dairy Intolerance Same?
Lactose and dairy intolerances are two different conditions and it shouldn’t be confused. In fact, children below the age of 4 are more allergic to protein in dairy products not just lactose.
While lactose intolerance is not a dangerous condition, allergic reaction to dairy products needs immediate medical intervention.
Dairy intolerance affects the immune system as the body believes that proteins present in milk products as its invaders. It may cause severe rashes, hives, trouble breathing and swallowing, tightness in throat etc.
In rare cases, it can lead to anaphylaxis that causes severe confusion, dizziness, rapid or shortness of breath and if not treated on time, it could turn fatal.
How To Get Tested For Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is diagnosed by running a few tests. The usual test includes drinking liquid high in lactose and measuring for glucose in blood stream. If the glucose levels doesn’t rise, you are certainly allergic to lactose.
How To Deal With It
If you love milk and milk products being allergic to lactose is tough. You may be prone to bone related disorders like osteopenia, osteoporosis and malnutrition as your body would not be getting enough of calcium, protein, vitamins A, B12 and D, magnesium and zinc.
You can choose from milk and other products less on lactase, soya, almond milk or lactase enzyme supplements for digesting lactose. Talk to your doctor and nutritionist for a suitable diet plan.