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Winning the Battle with Lactose Intolerance

Woman Drinking Milk

The growing prevalence of lactose intolerance coupled with the appearance of lactose in food groups outside dairy products creates a larger problem for those fighting against the condition. Lactose intolerance simply means that the body has a difficult time or cannot digest lactose, which is the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. Approximately 65% of the world population develops an inability to digest lactose, causing a collection of uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.

Lactose intolerance tends to appear at the age of adolescence, but can begin in adulthood as well. The crux of the difficulty stems from the small intestines inability to produce a single enzyme, lactase, which permits the body to process lactose. In the struggle with lactose intolerance, treatment options include the need to increase lactase, address diet, and watch for attacks from unexpected sources.

Add the Enzyme and Probiotics

While the body produces lactase in the intestinal lining, those with lactose intolerance struggle to produce enough of the enzyme. An easy solution is to take a supplemental dosage of the enzyme and probiotics. Sufferers take a capsule or tablet while consuming dairy products. The boost in lactase and probiotics mixes with the lactose sugar, breaking it down preventing symptoms like bloating, excessive gas, and abdominal pain. The simple pill is effective when the person knows about the presence of lactose.

Dietary Concerns

The greatest tool people with lactose intolerance have is to alter their diets. Most sufferers start with the removal of all dairy from their diet including milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, and butter. Though a good first step, some try to add a small amount of dairy back to determine their threshold for tolerance. This process, though potentially painful, allows the sufferer to add vital calcium and vitamin D back into their diet to combat osteoporosis and other bone weakening issues. Those unable to add any dairy back need calcium and vitamin D replacements for optimal health.

Hidden Lactose

Those struggling with lactose intolerance, especially ones with the greatest sensitivity, must be on guard for places where the sugar hides. Read labels searching for products with whey, curds, milk byproducts, dry milk solids, and powders. Like their dairy counterparts, these ingredients create pain and distress associated with lactose intolerance. Other foods hiding lactose include bread, margarine, lunch meat, and salad dressings. Also, check in medications such as birth control pills and over the counter acid controllers.

If you’re fighting lactose intolerance, remain vigilant; a healthy life is within your grasp. When you take steps to improve your life with knowledge about lactose intolerance, making dietary changes, and adding supplements, lactose intolerance is one battle you can win.

Image: Flickr

Dominica Applegate

Featured Guest Blogger:

Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked in the mental health field for 12 years before starting her own business. A sought-after author and freelance writer, her work is ultimately about helping people remove blocks that keep them stuck and unleashing massive happiness and potential.

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