Are You Living With Lactose Intolerance?

How To Deal With Uncomfortable Symptoms

It's estimated that 30 to 50 million people are living with lactose intolerance. Some ethic groups are more susceptible to this disorder. African Americans as well as Africans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native

Americans are the most likely ethic groups to develop lactose intolerance. For these ethnic groups, a life with lactose intolerance can be somewhat of a challenge.

Research into ethnic groups most likely to be affected by a lactase deficiency has revealed that over 70% of African Americans and Native Americans and 90% of Asians are living with lactose intolerance.  

I suffer from lactose intolerance.  

So believe me when I say that living with lactose intolerance can be challenging. At one point, I eliminated dairy products from my diet. A very big mistake.

Are you one of the millions of people who have totally eliminated dairy products from your diet?  If so read on, you'll be surprised to know that you may have taken much too drastic measures.

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Lactose Intolerance Basics

Want an explanation for lactose intolerance?

This disorder occurs in people lacking sufficient lactase enzymes to digest natural sugars food in some foods. Under normal circumstance you would have enough lactase enzymes to break down nature sugars (lactose) contained in dairy products like: cheese, ice cream, milk and yogurt.

However if you're affected by lactose intolerance a shortage of lactase enzymes results in dairy products not being digested properly. Leaving your stomach upset, having to response to excessive gas buildup.


Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

The end result of improper digestion of natural sugars (lactose) found in diary products, is the occurrence of some uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas or flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps

Most often theses symptoms are not life threatening. However depending on your tolerance level, the symptoms can result in some major/minor discomfort and embarrassment. You can expect theses symptoms to flare up within an hour or two of eating or drinking dairy products high in lactose.

Read more information on Lactose Intolerance Symptoms.


How To Diagnose Lactose Intolerance

My number one recommendation for someone living with lactose intolerance is to see thier doctor. Your doctor or physician is the person best suited to diagnose your condition. Therefore, consulting a medical professional is the easiest and most effective way to determine whether you are lactose intolerance.

However if your must do a home test follow this simple advice. This advice only works if you frequently eat or drink dairy products. Just stop eating and drinking dairy products for a few days and see if your symptoms subside. If the symptoms subside you may have lactose intolerance. Consult a physician to confirm or deny.


Living With Lactose Intolerance – How to Reduce the Effects of the Symptoms?<

Okay, the $33,000 dollar question is, how do I reduce the effects of the symptoms caused by lactose intolerance?

This is a good question to ask, because you shouldn't let a little discomfort discourage you from enjoying the finer things in life…that's eating dairy products like ice cream. The simple answer is to consume a lactase supplement or use lactose free or lactose reduced dairy products. These supplements are available over-the-counter, but you should still get a recommendation from your health care professional.

As for dairy products, your local grocery store should have suitable cheese, ice cream, milk and yogurt products that are either lactose free or lactose reduced. You may have to shop around to find the best offerings.

You should also be aware of the fact that lactose can be found prepared foods and medications. I careful review of the package/product label can help you determine if lactose is contained in a product. Be on the look out for the following foods:

  • Baked goods
  • Birth control pills
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Instant products and mixes
  • Margarine
  • Stomach acid or gas tablets

Always, remember when in doubt read the product label.


High Risk Ethnic Groups

As previously mentions, some ethnic groups are more inclined to having and suffering from lactose intolerance. So the obvious question is, why are some ethic groups more likely to develop lactose intolerance than others?

This is a great question which I don’t have the answer for. If you know please enlighten me with your knowledge.


How To Make Your Recipes Lactose Intolerance Friendly

Okay so you've come to the realization that you can't live without your dairy products. So what's a cook to do? Anytime a recipe calls for a dairy product like, cheese, ice cream, milk or yogurt you have basically three options.

  1. Eat the finished dished in moderation. Eating no more than a single serving per sitting not to exceed two per day is considered moderate.

  2. Substitute a dairy product for its healthier alternative. You will easily see major differences if you use lactose free or lactose reduced products.
  3. Go with the original recipe and suffer later. If you take this route try an over-the-counter supplement.

I hope you enjoyed this informative living with lactose tolerance informational article.

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