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Here are the types, symptoms, causes, and treatment for lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the condition when a person experiences digestive disorder after eating dairy because of the inability to digest lactose (the main carbohydrate in dairy products).

lactose intolerance
Photo courtesy of Buoy Health

Here is the list of dairy products that contain lactose:

  • Cow’s milk (all types)
  • Goat’s milk
  • Cheese (including hard and soft cheeses)
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Butter

In some cases, these foods also may contain lactose:

  • Foods made with a milky sauce, like quiche
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Chocolate and confectionary, like boiled sweets and candies
  • Breads and baked goods
  • Cakes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Instant soups and sauces
  • Processed meats, such as pre-sliced ham or sausages
  • Ready meals
  • Sauces and gravies
  • Potato chips, nuts and flavored tortillas
  • Desserts and custards

According to the article from the Healthline, the ingredients lactic acid, lactalbumin, lactate or casein which are found in several products are not lactose.

SYMPTOMS

The severity of the symptoms depends on how much lactose your body can tolerate.

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Urgency to go to the toilet
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pain in the lower belly
  • occasional constipation

CAUSES

This condition has two types and they have different causes.

Primary:

  • a decrease in lactase production with age, so that lactose becomes poorly absorbed
  • partially caused by genes because it’s more common in some populations than others

Secondary:

  • caused by illness, such as a stomach bug or a more serious issue like celiac disease

TREATMENT

Enzyme supplements

These are tablets you swallow or drops you add to foods and drinks and maybe effective for some people, however, according to the article, the effectiveness of the supplements may vary from one person to another.

Lactose exposure

Regularly including lactose in your diet could help your body in coping up with it. However, more studies are needed before this can be a recommended choice to treat lactose intolerance.

Probiotics and prebiotics

Based on a study, probiotics and prebiotics manifested reduced symptoms of lactose intolerance.

READ ALSO: HERNIA: The Different Types Of This Health Condition

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