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Lactose Intolerance Information - Help For The Lactose Intolerant

Lactose Intollerance - Information for People Who Are Lactose Intollerant

Lactose Intolerance: People that are lactose intolerant are unable to digest lactose, the sugar found in all dairy products. Their bodies do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase which breaks down the lactose in their intestine.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

Because your body cannot digest the lactose properly the bacteria in your intestine ferment the sugar into gasses that can cause diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, gas pains, and other distressing symptoms. These symptoms are especially pronounced if you drink a large amount of milk on an empty stomach.

Although lactose intolerance affects a small number of children it is more pronounced as we age. Lactose intollerance is also more common in certain ethnic groups. An estimated 75 percent of all African Americans, Jewish, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans suffer from some amount of lactose intollerance. Northern Europeans are least likely to be affected. In all, lactose intolerance affects over 50 million Americans.

Tips and Treatments:

  • Enzyme Replacements: If your symptoms are mild you can find help with an enzyme replacement product such as Lactaid. Taking a product like this before a meal can be very helpful.
  • Food Replacements: Special milks are available at many grocery stores. You might even switch to a soy-based product.
  • Avoid Hidden Ingredients: Many products contain lactose even though you might not expect it: Breakfast cereal, breads, potato mixes, soups, pancake mix, cookies, cakes, salad dressings, even hot dogs and lunch meats. If you read the labels you want to avoid ingredients like: Whey, curd, dry milk solids, sodium caseinate, nonfat dry milk powder.
  • Try moderation with a full stomach: If you find that the problem only affects you once in a while you might want to drink milk only on a full stomach or with a meal.

In summary, lactose intollerance is easily conquered with the help of knowledge and readily available enzyme replacement products.