Although there is no definitive treatment for lactose intolerance, people who suffer from the condition control the signs and symptoms by changing their diets.
There are some symptoms of lactose intolerance that are temporary and can improve within a short time like those caused by gastroenteritis. In other cases, genetic factors may point to a causality.
It is advisable to maintain a diet free from lactose and avoid foods that are a source of lactose. This simple change may be enough to control lactose intolerance.
For you to change your diet, you must understand your personal sensitivity to lactose. This is because there are people who may not experience any problems after changing their diet, while others can have severe complications associated with diet change.
Slowly introduce the diet so that you can confirm what foods are sensitive to your health.
There can be an increased risk if you fail to consume food that contains lactose because there are minerals that are missing in the diet. Therefore, you need to eat food rich in nutrients or supplements.
You should also consult your doctor if either you or your child is showing a sensitivity to food that contains lactose. Calcium, which is essential for healthy bones is present in milk products and the density of your bones should be checked on regular basis.
An expert in nutrition and diet can also be in a position to advise you on a variety of food products that you can consume.
Milk and other products made from dairy are among the main sources that you should reduce intake of, or cut out completely depending on the advice of your doctor or dietitian.
There are prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs that may contain some amount of lactose. In most cases, the lactose present in these pills is not enough to cause any problems, but there are others that can severe complications. Consult your doctor if you are taking any new medications.
Getting enough calcium
Dairy products such as milk contain calcium and if you are not taking them, then you may lack calcium which is essential to the body in the following ways:
- Construction of teeth and bones
- Muscle contraction regulation
- Normal clotting of blood
Choose products that do not contain lactose but have some calcium added to them. Make sure that the diet contains other alternative sources. The following are recommended:
- Green vegetables
Another option would be to buy supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D from a pharmacy. These supplements help in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Remember that if you consume high levels of calcium, there may be side effects which is why you should consult a dietitian before taking any supplements.
Children and lactose intolerance
If you have a child who is lactose intolerant, the child may be able to take a small amount of lactose in their diet. However, it is important that you experiment to observe the body's reaction to find a suitable dosage quantity.
In the event a child is not able to endure any amount of lactose, then your doctor will refer you to an expert to find alternatives. Remember that children should have balanced nutrition for a healthy body. For most children, the symptoms are temporary and may fade in a few weeks.
- Dairy products such as milk contain calcium. This means if you are not taking them you have a calcium deficiency
- If you have a child who is lactose intolerant, they may be able to take a small amount of lactose in their diet
- There can be increased risk if you fail to eat food that contains lactose because there are minerals important to a healthy diet within them