Lactose Intolerance: A Deficiency of an Enzyme



You too may have Lactose Intolerance! Well, you don’t have to be scared of it. It is just a digestive disorder where you experience digestion issues while you intake lactose. The condition is not fatal but it could make you uncomfortable. Herein, we’ll discuss the management of this disorder.


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Lactose Intolerance


The digestive disorder Lactose Intolerance is caused due to the inability of a person to digest lactose. Where lactose is the sugar, found mostly in milk and other dairy product. When people with lactose intolerance consume the lactose, they are most likely to have diarrhea, gas and bloating.


Further, It is expected that the signs and symptoms are likely to show up 30 minutes- 2 hrs after the consumption of dairy products or the items that contain lactose. The probable symptoms include;


1. Build-up gas in the stomach and intestines.

2. Cramps in the abdomen

3. Diarrhea due to indigestion of lactose

4. Nausea and vomiting

5. Sudden urgency to poop

6. In the severe scenario, dehydration could happen


Causes of Lactose Malabsorption


Talking about causes then there are numerous. And those causes are particularly divided into two, which are;


1. Primary Lactose Intolerance


Primary intolerance is very common, as with age lactase production becomes weaker. Where lactase enzyme breaks down the sugar from the milk and dairy products into glucose and galactose. Sometimes the cause of intolerance may be partially due to the genes.


2. Secondary Lactose Intolerance


Well, secondary intolerance is rare in the population. Where it is caused due to illness such as infection and diseases like celiac disease. As the inflammation in the gut wall can lead to temporarily decline in lactase production.


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What Is to Be Avoided?


To the people who have lactose intolerance, know that various dairy foods and products contain lactose. Also, some processed foods have amounts of lactose as milk and milk products are added to them.


Here below is the list of food items that commonly contain lactose;


1. Cakes
2. Creamy soups
3. Custard
4. Milk chocolate and milk candies
5. Pancake
6. Cheese sauce



Besides, there are food items that may contain lactose such as salad cream, salad dressing, mayonnaise, and some processed meats. Make sure to check the food labels carefully to ensure that the item does not contain milk sugar.


Replace Your Dairy


You must be thinking “How could we replace the dairy?” It is true that eat dairy products provides several nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamins A, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. And removing them from the diet can make your malnutrition. Well, my intention was not to remove but to replace the dairy products with the food items that offer similar nutrients.



Here you go, list of items that can be replaced with dairy;


1. For calcium source, items such as quinoa, seeds, and nuts, oranges, figs, broccoli, kale, and jeera.

2. Food items like all the leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cod liver oil, liver, spinach, pumpkin, apricot, papaya, mango, and peas are a good source of Vitamin A.

3. So far Vitamin D is a concern- Sunlight, fatty fish, all types of seafood and seeds are good options.

4. Soya milk to be considered as Lactose-free milk. And it can be a good replacement for dairy.



Concluding the above, let me say lactose intolerance is a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase.  Most people with intolerance can tolerate a small amount of dairy. But, if the replacement becomes necessary you may first consult the doctor or a dietitian for advice.


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