Saturday, April 28, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which an individual is unable to break down lactose, a type of natural sugar. Lactose is commonly found in dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine of a person stops producing enough of the enzyme lactase to digest and break down the lactose. As a result, the undigested lactose goes into the large intestine. Then, the bacteria that are normally present in the large intestine interact with the undigested lactose, which leads to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
There are three main types of lactose intolerance: primary, secondary, and congenital. Primary lactose intolerance, the most common type of lactose intolerance, is a normal result of aging. Most people are born with enough lactase. However, the amount of lactase a person makes may decline over time. This is because as people age, they eat a more diverse diet and depend less on milk.
Secondary lactose intolerance is a result of an illness or injury. Diseases in the intestine, such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, or a surgery or injury to the small intestine can cause this type of lactose intolerance. Lastly, congenital lactose intolerance is caused by a defective gene that can be inherited, leading to the complete absence of lactase in the child.
A person who is lactose intolerant can experience the following symptoms 30 minutes to two hours after consuming a milk-containing or milk-based product: abdominal bloating, pain, or cramps; borborygmi, or rumbling sounds in the stomach; diarrhea; flatulence, or gas; and nausea, which may be accompanied with vomiting. Lactose intolerance may lead to other complications, such as osteopenia, which is low bone mineral density, and osteoporosis, wherein the bones become weak and thin increasing the risk for fractures, and malnutrition.
The body systems harmed by lactose intolerance are the digestive system and skeletal system. Lactose intolerance affects the intestines and causes problems in the stomach, such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. The condition also harms the skeletal system as it can lead to fragile and weak bones.
There is no information on what specific foods prevent lactose intolerance, but there are some foods and herbs that can help treat the condition. These include lemon juice, saffron, apple cider vinegar, ginger, rice tea, cocoa powder, peppermint, and chamomile tea.
Treatment for lactose intolerance depends on how sensitive the patient is to foods that contain lactose. Lactose intolerance can usually be managed by monitoring the diet. Avoiding foods that contain lactose can lead to deficiencies in calcium and other minerals.
To avoid calcium deficiency, eat other calcium-rich alternatives, such as broccoli, cabbage, okra, kale, dried fruit, soy drinks with added calcium, soy beans, tofu, nuts, such as almonds and sesame seeds, and fish containing edible bones, such as sardines, salmon, and pilchards.
Also, check the ingredients of all food and drink products before consuming because milk or lactose are often hidden ingredients.
Food and drink products that may contain lactose include milk from cows, goats, and sheep; milk products, such as whey, curd, and milk powder; dairy products, such as cream, cheese, butter, and yogurt; ice cream; salad dressing and mayonnaise; biscuits; chocolate; boiled sweets; and baked goods.
Lactose intolerance is the inability of a person to break down lactose.
Lactose intolerance causes abdominal bloating, pain, or cramps; borborygmi, or rumbling sounds in the stomach; diarrhea; flatulence, or gas; and nausea, which may be accompanied with vomiting.
Lactose intolerance can lead to osteopenia, osteoporosis, and malnutrition.
Lactose intolerance affects the digestive and skeletal systems.
Treatment for lactose intolerance depends on how sensitive the patient is to foods that contain lactose.
Lactose intolerance can be prevented by avoiding or limiting food products that contain lactose.
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