You can forecast your body’s reaction to different foods with lactose and decide the right quantity to consume without adverse effects. Only a small number of individuals have lactose intolerance that is so severe that they need to eliminate all dairy products or other foods and drugs that contain lactose.
Good nutrition is important
Finding calcium in other products is key to healthy amounts of intake of the mineral. You can get calcium from the following foods:
- Canned salmon
- Products that are calcium-fortified such as juices and bread
- Alternatives to milk such as rice or soy milk
- Pinto beans
Vitamin D is normally found in fortified milk, but there are other methods of getting enough of the vitamin. Other foods that contain vitamin D include liver, yogurt, and eggs. Even sunlight is a sufficient source of vitamin D. Majority of adults do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, even when dairy is not restricted. Consult your doctor if there is a need for you to take calcium or vitamin D supplements.
Limit dairy products
A majority of individuals with lactose intolerance may consume certain dairy products and fail to show symptoms. You can raise your dairy tolerance by introducing them slowly to your diet. Other individuals realize they can consume milk products that are full of fat, which can be easier to consume than dairy products that have minimal amounts of fat or none at all.
You can reduce lactose intolerance symptoms by changing your diet in the following ways:
- Aim for smaller dairy portions. Drink small portions of milk at a time. You will have less gastrointestinal complications if you consume small portions.
- Only consume milk during mealtimes. Ensure you drink the milk alongside other foods. This will slow the digestive system and may minimize lactose intolerance symptoms.
- Try other varieties of dairy products. All dairy products do not contain the same level of lactose. For instance, hard cheeses such as cheddar or Swiss contain low lactose levels and normally do not cause any symptoms.
- Purchase products that have the least lactose content. These products are mostly available at supermarkets.
- Use lactase enzyme drops or tablets. You can easily digest dairy products with the aid of lactase enzyme drops or tablets. Take the tablets just before mealtime or add the drops to milk. These products, however, are not effective in all people. According to studies, sugar, cocoa, or chocolate powders may assist in lactose digestion by minimizing the speed of stomach emptying. Lactose will be absorbed by your body when the emptying process is slowed, which results in reduced symptoms.
- Sardines contain calcium, which is needed by people who cannot consume dairy. Other foods that are high in calcium include nuts, tofu, beans that are cooked and dried, canned salmon, products containing sesame seeds, leafy vegetables, and dried apricots.
- According to research, yogurt contains live active cultures and calcium, which is essential for individuals with lactose intolerance. Although it has slightly high levels of lactose, you can include yogurt in your diet if it works for you.
The fact that you are lactose intolerant does not mean you have to permanently remove all dairy products from your diet. You can enjoy all the foods you like with proper safety measures and routines. Experiment with home remedies and determine which option best suits you. Consult your doctor for advice on vitamin D and calcium alternatives as well.
Additional Treatments for Lactose Intolerance
There are many treatments available for lactose intolerance. Some of them include medical treatments, while others include dietary modifications. Different people have different levels of tolerance to lactose. Depending on the extent to which the consumption of milk or dairy products affects them, they can alter the amounts they consume in their diet.
In extreme cases, it is advisable to stop using all forms of dairy and its products immediately. Be it primary or secondary lactose intolerance, there is no definite cure, but there are ways of managing it or dealing with it. Having pills or tablets containing lactase enzyme serve as a good remedy. They increase the tolerance of lactose and help in curbing the side effects or discomfort caused by the consumption of dairy products.
To begin with, observe the symptoms of the intolerance. Is it caused soon after consuming milk or milk products and does it lead to the formation of gas, bloating, or diarrhea? Do you feel nauseous? If the answer to all these questions is "yes", then you probably have this condition and must get it treated after running diagnostic tests such as lactose tolerance test, hydrogen breath test, small bowel biopsy, and a few others.
Is there a specific treatment?
No specific treatment caters to all those who are lactose intolerant. Many times, doctors recommend having drops that can be added to dairy products before consumption. This is done in cases where people can tolerate a small quantity of milk. In others, deficiency of related nutrients might occur. These include vitamin D and calcium most of the time since their diet is devoid of milk.
Calcium supplements are essential in such cases. The best treatment is to avoid dairy and have substitutes instead. With increased awareness and health consciousness soaring to an all-time high, most people are ditching dairy products including animal milk and trying newer alternatives such as cashew, pistachio, almond, and soy milk.
People who are lactose intolerant can definitely explore these avenues for better health, good coping mechanism, as well as to make sure they are not depriving the body of the essential nutrients. Monitor your lifestyle and let it revolve around dairy-free products, a well-balanced diet with emphasis on calcium-rich products and vegetables, the required supplements, yogurt with active cultures, and following a healthy routine. These points will help you in dealing with lactose intolerance while reducing the chances of developing related infections or secondary illnesses.
Lactose intolerance might affect a person's social inclinations; hence, an advice from an expert is necessary to find the best possible treatment method for the condition.