Although food allergies and food intolerance result in symptoms that are alike, they are different causes. You could be suffering from either of the conditions if after consuming dairy you have gas, diarrhea, bloating, or nausea.
The majority of animals that consume milk when they are young naturally develop lactose intolerance once they become adults. The small intestines are meant to generate the lactase enzyme sufficiently, which is essential in breaking down of the lactose contained in dairy. The lactose goes to the large intestines if you do not have sufficient lactase, so the natural bacteria present consume the lactose and produce gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which results in bloating.
Approximately 50 million American citizens suffer from lactose intolerance; the condition affects mostly Asians, Native Americans and Africans. Dairy is, however, a very crucial origin of calcium and it contributes to three-fourths of our mineral intake. You can still consume dairy without problems, even when you assume you suffer from lactose intolerance. Do the following:
The Tolerance Test
It is wise to be aware of how much dairy you consume, since people have different levels of tolerance. While your stomach is empty, drink two cups of skim milk. You could be suffering from lactose intolerance if after 2-4 hours you experience a lot of gas.
Remember Your Calcium
Dairy is a leading source of calcium. A good number of individuals require calcium equal to two cups of milk every day. If you rely on milk as your major source of calcium and you slash it, you should replace it with foods like broccoli, Tums, spinach and sardines with bones. You can also take calcium supplements, milk treated with lactase, cereals, juices fortified with calcium and pills for lactase enzyme.
The process of fermentation that makes yogurt relies on organisms that also generate lactase, the enzyme sufficient in individuals with lactose intolerance. The lactose contained in the milk can also be broken down by the bacteria.
Eat it more often. Even if you have insufficient lactase enzymes in the small intestines to break down the lactose, the colon’s bacteria are very flexible and they will adapt well to the lactose being introduced to them; minimal gas will be generated.
Include Your Own Lactase
A number of companies produce the enzyme lactase and mix it with milk. You can also purchase it in form of liquid and add it yourself. If you add a few lactase drops in milk, the milk will be free from flatulence and it'll taste sweeter. You can find the drops and tablets in pharmacies. Supermarkets all over the country sell milk without lactose.
Keep Off Soft Cheese
If you have to consume cheese, go with the harder types. Lactose is soluble in water and is contained in runny whey and not in curds,. Curds are used to make cheeses that are hard and whey makes softer cheeses, like cottage cheese.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Although lactose intolerance symptoms can easily be identified, you should not conclude you have the condition before consulting with your GP. The symptoms could be as a result of other conditions in most cases. Your physician will conduct a number of tests like the hydrogen breath examination, the lactose intolerance examination or the stool acidity evaluation if you display symptoms of lactose intolerance to determine the main cause of your condition.