Lactose intolerance is an abdominal condition characterized by a deficiency of the lactase enzyme in the body. This condition can be temporary or permanent and commonly affect newly born and young children. The causes of lactose intolerance can be genetic, gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease, stomach infections, some antibiotics, and many more. Normally, it gets resolved in a few days to few weeks. The symptoms can be nausea, vomiting, pain or cramps in the abdomen, bloating, nausea, gas or diarrhea. There is no permanent cure for the lactose intolerant people, but it can be managed through diet modification.
Is Lactose Intolerance Curable?
Lactose intolerance is a gastrointestinal condition characterized by one’s inability to digest lactose in the body. The main cause of the condition is the insufficient production of lactase enzyme by the small intestine. The condition is harmless and is triggered by ingestion of milk or milk products.
Lactose intolerance is a condition marked by the deficiency of an intestinal enzyme lactase. Lactose is a sugar found in the milk and milk products. It breaks down into two components of sugar, glucose, and galactose. An enzyme named lactase is secreted in the small intestine of our body that digests lactose into these sugar components.
These components get absorbed into the blood for further body utilization in the form of energy.
Anybody can suffer from unpleasant abdominal symptoms at any age but it is common in young infants and children which settle down in few days to few weeks by itself. The symptoms may be different for different persons. The intensity of lactose intolerance and its symptoms depends upon the amount of lactose consumed in the meal and the amount of enzyme lactase produced in the body. The symptoms reduce with the reduction in the lactose in the meal especially milk or milk products.
The Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance Are-
- Pain in the abdomen
- Cramps in the abdomen
Lactose intolerance is not curable, but it can be managed efficiently by diet modification. Avoidance of dairy products can control lactose intolerance, but can cause calcium or Vitamin D deficiency in course of time. Lactase is not produced in the lactose intolerant people so they have to manage their diet throughout the life to control symptoms.
Lactose Intolerance Can Be Managed By Following Alterations In The Diet-
-One should introduce small quantities of milk or milk products in their meal to observe the level of reaction produced by the body. Once you are sure that a particular amount of milk does not harm you, you can take that amount at least once in a meal daily.
-The introduction of lactose-free milk or lactose-reduced milk or milk products can reduce the unpleasant symptoms of lactose intolerance. These products contain added lactase enzyme are similar to regular milk or dairy products.
-Dieticians recommend intake of low or no lactose-containing food with milk or milk products in the same meal to avoid gastric ailments triggered by Lactose intolerance.
-Replacement of milk by yogurt or cheese can also reduce the relative reactions of the body towards lactose as cheese and yogurt slow down the digestion due to lower levels of lactose.
-Physicians often prescribe lactase pills or lactase drops if you are taking milk or milk products. These lactase enzyme supplements are advised to be taken before each meal that comprises of milk or milk products.
-One, who is glucose intolerant, should reduce or avoid lactose-containing readymade, canned, frozen or boxed food like cereal, lunchmeats, bread, cakes, cookies, coffee creamers etc.
Any individual develops lactose intolerance due to deficiency of the lactase enzyme in the body caused due to various reasons. This condition can be temporary or permanent. It is not curable but it can be controlled easily by diet modifications discussed above.