Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually develop within a few hours of consuming food or drink containing lactose. They may include:
• Bloated stomach area
• Stomach cramps and pans
• Feeling sick
• Stomach rumbling
The severity of the symptoms and when they appear depends largely on the amount of lactose you have consumed. Some people may still be able to drink a small glass of milk without triggering any symptoms, while others may not even be able to have milk in their tea or coffee without suffering.
What causes lactose intolerance?
The body digests lactose using an enzyme called lactase. This breaks down lactose into 2 sugars called glucose and galactose which can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream.
People with lactose intolerance however do not produce enough lactase, reasons for which are largely unknown, so lactose stays in the digestive system where it is fermented by bacteria. This in turn leads to the production of various gases which cause the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance as listed above.
Lactose intolerance is often inherited and there is no known cure but limiting your intake of food and drink containing lactose is very effective at controlling the symptoms.
If you think you may have intolerance to lactose, contact Alyson for dietary advice and to determine whether a test is required.