Lactose Intolerance

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Lactose Intolerance: Types, Causes, and Treatment

For a person to keep himself healthy, it is necessary to keep his stomach healthy, because most of the problems are born from a bad stomach. Now for the health of the stomach, a person consumes a healthy diet, but not every healthy food item benefits everyone. One reason for this could be lactose intolerance. In this article of My Health Only, we are explaining in detail the causes of lactose intolerance and the treatment for lactose intolerance.

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In the first part of the article, understand what is lactose intolerance.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance refers to the inability to digest foods containing lactose. Lactose is nothing but a sugar found in milk and milk products. The body needs an enzyme called lactase in sufficient amounts to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine does not produce enough of this enzyme. This can cause stomach problems for lactose-intolerant people. During this, complaints like gas, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating are common.

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Let us know what are the causes of lactose intolerance.

Causes & Risk Factors of Lactose Intolerance

If the cause of a problem and the risk factor is known, then it becomes easier to avoid it. In such a situation, one can adopt precautions by knowing the causes and risk factors of lactose intolerance. The causes and risk factors of lactose intolerance can be as follows.

  1. Premature Birth – If a baby is born prematurely, he may have a problem of lactose intolerance.
  2. Lactose Enzyme Deficiency – When a person’s body does not produce enough lactase enzyme, it cannot digest milk and foods made from it. This can lead to lactose intolerance.
  3. Cause of Disease – If there has been a disease that damages the small intestine, it can also lead to lactose intolerance. These can include small intestine surgery, small intestine infections, celiac disease (immune reaction to gluten), Crohn’s disease (inflammation in the digestive tract), and problems that cause diarrhea.
  4. Genetic Defects – If someone is born with a genetic defect, he/she is unable to produce the lactase enzyme properly. This increases the risk of developing lactose intolerance.

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After the cause of lactose intolerance read the symptoms of lactose intolerance now.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance can vary from person to person. Its symptoms often appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk or its products. If someone consumes milk in excess, then its symptoms can also be very serious. Most lactose-intolerant people have some of these symptoms.

Apart from these symptoms, some people may also see such signs. However, these symptoms are not common.

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In the next part of the article, we are talking about the diagnosis of lactose intolerance.

Diagnosis of Lactose Intolerance

If someone is showing symptoms of lactose intolerance, then it can be diagnosed through some tests. Some common tests for lactose intolerance include:

  1. Physical Test – The doctor may conduct a physical examination to diagnose any problems. During this, the doctor can examine the abdomen with a stethoscope. Along with this, you can also ask about the symptoms and diseases related to the recent diet.
  2. Breathe test – During this test, the specialist measures the level of hydrogen in the breath. If the hydrogen level is high, there is a possibility of lactose intolerance.
  3. Blood Test – For this test, first the doctor asks the person to consume milk or lactose-containing substances. Then the level of lactose or glucose is detected by testing the blood. This can lead to a diagnosis of lactose intolerance.
  4. Stool pH Test – During this test the stool is examined. If someone has lactose intolerance, the pH of their stool may be below, so that the problem can be detected.

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Let us now know what to eat and what not to eat during lactose intolerance.

Lactose Intolerance Diet –

During lactose intolerance, special attention has to be paid to the diet. Information about what to eat and what not to eat at this time is given below.

What should we eat –

If someone has lactose intolerance, one should take enough calcium and vitamin D every day. For this, you can consume a lactose-free calcium-rich diet. These include these foods.

  • Salmon or sardine fish
  • Broccoli and leafy green vegetables
  • Oranges and eggs
  • Almonds, Brazil Nuts, and Dried Beans
  • Tofu and Soy Milk
  • Whole grains and fruit juices

What not to eat –

If someone has lactose intolerance, they should avoid consuming lactose-containing foods.

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Learn more about how lactose intolerance can be treated.

Lactose Intolerance
Lactose Intolerance

Treatment of Lactose Intolerance

There is no specific treatment for lactose intolerance. Yes, one can stop and reduce the intake of lactose-containing foods to reduce its symptoms. Some people only need to limit lactose-containing foods, while others need to stop consuming them altogether. At the same time, symptoms can be managed by giving lactose products to some people. Apart from these, they can be resorted to treating lactose intolerance.

  1. Enzyme Supplements – To treat lactose intolerance, a doctor may recommend taking enzymes that digest lactose. For this, buy the enzyme recommended by the doctor.
  2. Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements – Having lactose intolerance can lead to a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D in the body, which can lead to other problems. In such a situation, the doctor may recommend taking both these supplements at this time.
  3. Treating Small Intestine Problems – If someone has an injury to the small intestine, due to which there is a problem of lactose intolerance, then the doctor can cure the problem by treating that injury.

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Read about the complications of lactose intolerance after learning how to treat lactose intolerance.

Complications caused by lactose intolerance

If lactose intolerance persists for a long time, there may be some complications. Some of these problems are as follows.

  • Osteopenia – In this condition, bone minerals are lost, due to which the bones become weak.
  • Osteoporosis – This is a disease related to bones, which thins and weakens the bones. Due to this, the bones become fragile, which increases the risk of fracture.
  • Malnutrition – This is a condition in which the body does not get enough nutrients.
  • Weight loss – Due to lactose intolerance, the body does not get the necessary nutrients. As a result, the person’s body may become weak and lose weight.

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Now we are going to tell further ways to avoid lactose intolerance.

Tips to avoid lactose intolerance

There is no specific way to avoid lactose intolerance. The only way to avoid lactose intolerance may be to reduce or reduce lactose in the diet. Along with these other tips read further.

  • Avoid consumption of lactose-rich foods such as milk, cheese, buttermilk, cream, etc.
  • To improve digestion, you can take the help of yoga and exercise.
  • To avoid this, you can consume fiber-rich foods, which can improve digestion.
  • Keep the body and digestive system healthy by drinking more and more water during the day.
  • Avoid consumption of junk food, which can spoil the digestive system.

Lactose intolerance is not a serious disease, for which a person has to panic a lot. One can live life with this problem. They just have to stay away from the consumption of certain foods in this situation, so that they can avoid lactose intolerance. Also note that when lactose intolerant people consume more dairy products containing lactose, then the condition can also become serious. So be alert and keep yourself safe.

Frequently Asked Questions –

How Can I Tell If I’m Lactose Intolerant?

You can find out if you have lactose intolerance 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming dairy-rich foods. If during this time symptoms like vomiting, nausea, headache, stomach pain, gas, heaviness in the stomach are seen, then you can say that you are lactose intolerant.

What are the four types of lactose intolerance?

The four types of lactose intolerance include primary lactase deficiency, secondary lactase deficiency, congenital lactase deficiency, and developmental lactase deficiency.

Could someone suddenly have lactose intolerance?

Yes, lactose intolerance can happen suddenly. In fact, small intestine surgery, small intestine infections, celiac disease (an immune response to gluten), Crohn’s disease (inflammation in the digestive tract), and problems that cause diarrhea can make person lactose intolerant. If someone develops these problems, they may suddenly develop lactose intolerance.

How do you cure lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance cannot be completely cured, but to avoid its symptoms, the consumption of milk and foods made from it will have to be reduced and stopped. At the same time, depending on its cause, the process of treatment may have to be adopted. Such as taking enzyme supplements and treating diseases related to the small intestine.