Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

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. The symptoms of lactose intolerance are bloating, gas, nausea or vomiting, pain or cramps in the abdomen, and diarrhea. The condition runs in families’ generation after generation. There is no known cure for this condition. It can be managed by modification in the amount of lactose intake in the diet.

What Is The Best Medicine For Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a condition marked by the deficiency of an intestinal enzyme lactase needed for proper digestion of lactose found in milk or milk products. 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.

Lactose intolerance is seen in families from generation to generation. Anyone can develop this condition whether he is young or old. Usually, an infant develops lactose intolerance soon after birth which goes after some days or 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 reduces with the reduction in the lactose in your meal especially milk or milk products.

The Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance Are-

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Gas
  • Cramps in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

Too much avoidance of milk or milk products may induce the deficiency of calcium and vitamin D in the body. There is no permanent treatment for the lactose intolerant people. But the best medicine for lactose intolerance is diet management. 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.

-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.

-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.

-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.

-Juices fortified with calcium are also good option to handle calcium deficiency.

-Introduction of calcium-rich products like broccoli, tofu, beans or soy milk, can also help to tackle calcium deficiency.

Conclusion

Lactose intolerance is a condition characterized by an individual’s inability to digest lactose (sugar in milk or milk products). A slight modification of food like less intake of milk, other measures discussed above can be helpful to manage symptoms of lactose intolerance and calcium deficiency.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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