Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder in which individuals experience digestive problems after drinking milk or consuming dairy products. Those with an intolerance for lactose do not produce enough of the lactase enzyme which assists the small intestine in digesting it. Millions have this condition and although it cannot be cured changes in diet can ease or eliminate the symptoms. If you are asking yourself, “Am I lactose intolerant?” the first thing to do is know what symptoms to look for, find out if you are and then take the steps to control the problem.
There are several common symptoms of lactose intolerance. These include:
– painful gas
– stomach cramps
If an intolerance is the case these digestive problems will arise soon after consuming milk or dairy products. Symptoms can range from mild to severe
As previously mentioned if you are wondering, “Am I lactose intolerant?” schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can perform the lactose intolerance test. A lactose intolerance test involves two blood samples. One is taken before you drink a beverage high in lactose and one after you drink a beverage high in lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, blood sugar levels will slightly elevate rather than experience a significant increase.
If diagnosed with an intolerance to lactose the next step is make changes to your diet. To start, there is lactose free milk that can be used to substitute milk that contains dairy. Aside from that, many have to take the time to go through a trial period to determine what they can and cannot eat. Of course foods like yogurt, ice cream, cheese and milk byproducts are likely out of the question but depending on the severity of the intolerance not all foods containing dairy will spark symptoms. On the other hand those who are very sensitive to dairy have to take extra precaution and may need to avoid foods such as bread, salad dressing, milk chocolate, and even non dairy creamers. An alternative to avoiding these foods altogether is assisting the body to better digest them. This can be done by eating dairy with other foods and choosing easier to digest dairy products.
All in all, if you are faced with the question of, “Am I lactose intolerant” begin by determining whether you are experiencing any of the symptoms. Next, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis and make changes to your diet. An intolerance to lactose presents a challenge but is a fairly easy condition to control.