Some conditions can be confused with other intolerances and allergies, but lactose intolerance manifests itself with key signs of this condition, such as inflammation and the presence of stomach gas. What happens in your body when you have this intolerance is mentioned in detail below?
Every day more people suffer from lactose intolerance, a disorder caused by the difficulty our body has in digesting dairy substances and whose ingestion causes discomfort in our stomach and colic-like pain, among other symptoms. Lactose intolerance is a more common condition in adults than you think.
What is lactose
Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products and for it to be processed correctly, the enzyme lactase is needed that all human beings have in our bodies at birth. But as we get older the number of these enzymes is reduced as we become omnivores and we stop needing breast milk. This is the main cause of lactose intolerance that many people suffer from.
Most frequent signs of lactose intolerance
The most important signs that appear when your body rejects lactose-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese or ice cream, are:
· Swelling of the abdomen
· Stomach and abdominal pains
· Frequent nausea
· Diarrhoea and the presence of stomach gas.
· Weight loss without dieting, you may feel more tired than normal without apparent physical effort, or you may suffer from fever or pain when defecating.
· One of the most recognized signs of lactose intolerance are stomach noises associated with bloating.
· It is also very common that when going to the bathroom and having consumed a product with lactose, the defecated feces are much darker than usual.
When lactose intolerance occurs
These signs of lactose intolerance can manifest the same day or the day after the dairy producer's consumption. If you have suffered from any of these signs and want to know if it is due to your rejection of lactose, you can stop consuming these products for two weeks and observe the result.
In the event that the symptoms disappear, it is highly likely that you are intolerant towards the product, although there are people with acute intolerance and others with moderate intolerance towards dairy products, therefore the complete elimination will not give the desired results, in addition to that you should learn to compensate the vitamins and minerals with the new diet that you incorporate.
What can be eaten alternative to dairy
First, any dairy product that is fermented (with the lactose broken down) is easier to digest. For example, kefir and yogurt are well tolerated by most people. Also, hard and aged cheeses (eg Parmesan), butter and lard are well tolerated by some people (try to use organic), as they have very low levels of lactose.
And if you've ever heard of raw dairy, these are dairy products that have not been pasteurized so they still contain live enzymes to facilitate lactose digestion. Unfortunately, this is difficult to find, as all dairy products are pasteurized and homogenized, killing all good and bad bacteria, and the value of enzymes disappearing.
If you're curious about substitutes for dairy, here's a list:
· Almond milk
· Cashew milk
· Coconut milk
· Hemp milk
· Flax milk
· Rice milk
· Coconut milk ice cream
· Bananas or various frozen fruits
Cheeses made from nuts and seeds
· Coconut yogurt
· Almond and cashew yogurt
· Organic soy yogurt
If you suspect that you may be lactose intolerant, you should quickly visit a gastroenterologist who will perform an examination and review to determine the reason for your discomfort and will inform you on how to eat if you are intolerant to certain substances.
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