Lactose deficiency is the most common dietary enzyme deficiency, and can be temporary or permanent. If lactose is not able to be broken down and absorbed in the small bowel, the sugar passes down into the large bowel where there are bacteria present. These bacteria ferment the sugar using their own enzymes and gas is produced giving symptoms of abdominal
cramps, bloating and distension.
Living with lactose intolerance doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite dairy foods. In fact, despite some common misconceptions, most people are able to enjoy dairy even if hey are lactose intolerant. Here are few things you should know if you think you are lactose intolerant :
- Lactose Intolerance isn’t as common as you think : Infact, roughly 1 in 10 adults report having lactose intolerance, and that’s through self-diagnosis (which may be inaccurate). If you’re experiencing symptoms such as gas, bloating or diarrhea, it’s best to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- You Can Still Enjoy Your Favorite Dairy Foods : Just because you are lactose intolerant, you don’t necessarily have to give up nutrient-rich dairy all together. Many health experts agree you should still try to consume dairy because it provides essential nutrients needed for a healthy diet.
- Find What Works Best For You : While no two people are the same, neither is the amount of lactose in various dairy foods. Start small and by mixing low-fat or fat-free dairy with other foods. You can also try cheese and yogurt, or lactose-free milk.
- Lactose-free milk still packs a nutritional punch : Lactose-free milk is real dairy, just without the lactose. It provides the same essential nutrients, such as calcium, potassium and vitamin D, found in regular diary products.
- Cooking When You Are Lactose Intolerant is Easy : Even if you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, your meals can still be exciting. Learn some new recipes or take help from a dietician.
There will be no damage to the bowel if lactose is consumed, but you are likely to experience symptoms if you take it in excess. The amount of lactose that causes symptoms varies greatly within individuals so that you may wish to experiment with the diet and see how much lactose you can tolerate. There are no long term complications associated with lactase deficiency.