Everyone enjoys a healthy glass of milk to go with doughnuts, cakes, pancakes, cheese, cookies and such food. Yet not everyone can have milk or any of these foods. Why? Because there are some people who have something called lactose intolerance. Their bodies can't digest lactose, the sugar found in almost every dairy product.
Why is lactose intolerance caused?
Let's learn a little bit more about Lactose. It is made up of a combination of glucose and galactose. Usually your body can easily absorb both these sugars, using an enzyme called lactase for breaking down lactose into its two parts. You become lactose intolerant if you don't have enough lactase in your body.
When do you get lactose intolerance?
There are two reasons why you may not have enough lactase in your body. You may get primary lactase deficiency at an early age of around two. This can reach its peak by adolescence or even adulthood. On the other hand, secondary lactase deficiency occurs when the small intestine gets damaged and is more common in infancy.
How to handle lactose intolerance, if you have it?
Being lactose intolerant doesn't necessarily mean you are allergic to all dairy products. What it does mean is you have a limit to how much lactose containing products you can have in your diet. If you exceed the limit, you experience stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea. The only way to manage lactose intolerance is by changing what you eat and slowly reducing the lactose containing products you have in a day.
How do you find out if you are lactose intolerant?
There are a few ways to figure out if you are lactose intolerant. First, the doctor tries to find out if anybody from your family ever had any symptoms of lactose intolerance. After conducting a physical examination, he may decide to conduct either a hydrogen breath test or a stool acidity test.
Which products contain lactose?
Milk is added to most processed foods to make them last longer. Products like biscuits, waffles, doughnuts, cereals, pancakes, potato chips, candies, pastries, sweet rolls, bread and almost all baked goods are high in lactose. So if you are lactose intolerant, watch what you eat.