Symptoms and remedies for lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance is caused by inability of small intestines to produce adequate enzyme called lactase. This enzyme is essential in digesting or breaking down lactose. Lactose is a natural sugar that is usually found in dairy products and milk. Therefore people suffering from lactose intolerance usually augment its symptoms when they consume dairy products or milk. This condition is usually common in adults. But the condition should not be confused with milk allergy, which is usually common in children.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance
There are several symptoms of lactose. These symptoms usually start a few hours after drinking or eating foods that are rich in lactose. Some of these symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or loose stool
- Abdominal cramps or pain
- Rumbling or gurgling sounds in the belly
Lactose intolerance remedies
1. Probiotics and acidophilus supplements
They promote growth of lactic acid bacteria that are found in the intestines and which break down lactose into substances that are absorbable by the large intestine. These supplements are available in form of tablets, capsules or powders. Select supplements that contain the following lactic acid bacteria: lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus reuteri, lactobacillus bulgaricus, lactobacillus plantarum, streptococcus salivarius, etc.
2. Reduce intake of dairy products or milk
Some people tend to avoid foods that contain lactose even though this is not very effective when treating lactose intolerance. Some of the recommended dietary strategies include the following: drink smaller milk servings; substitute milk with yogurt; eat milk products or drink milk during mealtimes; experiment different dairy products to choose the ones that do not cause symptoms; and eat lactose-free or lactose-reduced products.
3. Eat well
By reducing intake of dairy products, it means that you have to source calcium from other foods. Some of these foods include: broccoli, spinach, canned salmon, milk substitutes (including rice milk and soy milk), rhubarb, pinto beans, oranges, etc. Also eat foods rich in vitamin D such as yogurt, liver and eggs.
4. Lactase supplements
It is recommended that when you start eat foods containing lactose, combine them with tables or capsules containing lactase. There are different types of lactase supplements so when you try some brans and they are not working, try others. However, it is important to be aware of safety concerns associated with supplements because most of them have not been confirmed for safety.