It is a condition in which one have digestive symptoms—such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas—after one consumes foods or drinks that contain lactose. Lactose is a sugar that is naturally found in milk and milk products, like cheese or ice cream.
In lactose intolerance, digestive symptoms are caused by lactose malabsorption. Lactose malabsorption is a condition in which your small intestine cannot digest, or break down, all the lactose you eat or drink. Not everyone with lactose malabsorption has digestive symptoms after they consume lactose. Only people who have symptoms are lactose intolerant. Most people with lactose intolerance can consume some amount of lactose without having symptoms. Different people can tolerate different amounts of lactose before having symptoms. Lactose intolerance is different from a milk allergy. A milk allergy is an immune system disorder.
While most infants can digest lactose, many people begin to develop lactose malabsorption—a reduced ability to digest lactose—after infancy. Experts estimate that about 68 percent of the world’s population has lactose malabsorption.
Lactose malabsorption is more common in some parts of the world than in others. In Africa and Asia, most people have lactose malabsorption. In some regions, such as northern Europe, many people carry a gene that allows them to digest lactose after infancy, and lactose malabsorption is less common. While lactose malabsorption causes lactose intolerance, not all people with lactose malabsorption have lactose intolerance.
COMPLICATIONS OF LACTOSE INTOLERANCE:
Lactose intolerance may affect your health if it keeps you from getting enough nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. Milk and milk products, which contain lactose, are some of the main sources of calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients.
You need calcium throughout your life to grow and have healthy bones. If you don’t get enough calcium, your bones may become weak and more likely to break. This condition is called osteoporosis. If you have lactose intolerance, you can change your diet to make sure you get enough calcium while also managing your symptoms.
SYMPTOMS & CAUSES OF LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: -
If you have lactose intolerance, you may have symptoms within a few hours after you have milk or milk products, or other foods that contain lactose. Your symptoms may include:
Lactose intolerance is caused by lactose malabsorption. If you have lactose malabsorption, your small intestine makes low levels of lactase—the enzyme that breaks down lactose—and can’t digest all the lactose you eat or drink. The undigested lactose passes into your colon. Bacteria in your colon break down the lactose and create fluid and gas. In some people, this extra fluid and gas causes lactose intolerance symptoms. In some cases, your genes are the reason for lactose intolerance. Genes play a role in the following conditions, and these conditions can lead to low levels of lactase in your small intestine and lactose malabsorption:
Lactase nonpersistence. In people with lactase nonpersistence, the small intestine makes less lactase after infancy. Lactase levels get lower with age. Symptoms of lactose intolerance may not begin until later childhood, the teen years, or early adulthood. Lactase nonpersistence, also called primary lactase deficiency, is the most common cause of low lactase levels.
Congenital lactase deficiency. In this rare condition, the small intestine makes little or no lactase, starting at birth.
FOODS THAT CONTAIN LACTOSE: -
You may not need to completely avoid foods and beverages that contain lactose—such as milk or milk products. If you avoid all milk and milk products, you may get less calcium and vitamin D than you need.
People with lactose intolerance can handle different amounts of lactose. Research suggests that many people could have 12 grams of lactose—the amount in about 1 cup of milk—without symptoms or with only mild symptoms.
You may be able to tolerate milk and milk products if you drink small amounts of milk at a time and have it with meals add milk and milk products to your diet a little at a time and see how you feel try eating yogurt and hard cheeses, like cheddar or Swiss, which are lower in lactose than other milk products use lactase products to help digest the lactose in milk and milk products.
HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES FOR MANAGING LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: -