Lactose intolerance affects millions of individuals all over the globe. It is caused by the lack of a specific enzyme called lactase that is typically present in the small intestines. Once this enzyme is absent, lactose which is a sugar in milk could not be properly digested.
Individuals who have lactose intolerance can suffer from discomfort which includes bloating, abdominal cramping, gas, diarrhea and nausea. The individual should avoid any foods that contain lactose. This is considered as the ideal way to stop the discomfort but other options are also available. In case an individual is lactose intolerant or suspected with the condition, a doctor should be consulted regarding the suitable treatment options. First aid courses can provide the necessary information regarding ways to manage this condition. All you have to do is to register in one today.
Avoidance of foods that contain lactose
Most products are made out of cow’s milk which contain lactose, thus avoiding them is the best way to prevent the discomfort. Nevertheless, a doctor must be consulted before starting a dairy-free diet since a supplement or specific food choices are recommended to acquire enough calcium and other essential nutrients.
The trial-and-error process can also be started to determine the products that are responsible for causing issues since the individual might be able to tolerate some dairy products better than others. Some cheeses and yogurts contain minimal amounts of lactose, thus eating them might not cause any issues. It is important to check the food labels since many foods that you might not suspect to contain lactose actually have. These include potato chips, processed meats, breakfast cereals and even some medications.
If the individual could not avoid dairy products, a possible solution is to look for lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk and milk products. Take note that lactose-free milk is still similar to regular milk except that it has the lactase enzyme added to it. Nevertheless, this provides a somewhat sweeter taste than standard milk. Other products that include soy, almond or rice milk might be suitable alternatives since they do not naturally contain lactose. Consulting a doctor is important so that suitable alternatives can be discussed.
There are supplements that are available which contain the lactase enzyme. These can be taken before a meal to help with the digestion of lactose present in dairy products as well as prevent discomfort. They are available in tablet, pill or liquid forms.
The supplements that contain simethicone can help minimize the size of the gas bubbles and hasten their exit from the intestines, thus helping prevent the discomfort caused by the bloating and gas. Probiotics are also useful but remember that not all strains of probiotics can relieve the discomfort triggered by lactose intolerance. A doctor should be consulted regarding the suitable probiotics to use.