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Lactose Intolerance


Lactose is a complex sugar found in milk and all dairy products. During the digestive process, lactose is broken down with the help of the lactase (the enzyme released in the small intestine) into simple sugars (monosaccharides glucose and galactose) are absorbed into the bloodstream. "Intolerance" means the inability to digest lactose, often associated with deficiency of the enzyme lactase. After about 30 minutes after consuming milk or milk products like ice cream or cottage cheese and cottage cheese, people with lactose intolerance can be diarrhea or cramping (abdominal cramps) and bloating (increased formation of gas in the intestines) the severity of which depends on the level of lack of enzymes. However, a person with a slight deficiency of enzymes may not experience any symptoms at all.

It is widely believed that lactose intolerance is an allergy to milk. In fact, it is not, and the difference between these two concepts is very high. People with lactose intolerance do not have to remove the milk and dairy products from their diet, but they need to control the amount of dairy products. But people who suffer from allergies to milk, should not eat even the minimum amount of milk. Symptoms of milk allergy include wheezing, tightness in throat, runny nose, puffy eyes and eyelids, skin rashes and vomiting. Lactose intolerance is manifested differently.

Causes of lactose intolerance

Congenital lactase deficiency, widespread predominantly among those belonging to the Asian race.
The natural decline in lactase, which begins in childhood (after 3 years). How significant will this reduction depends on the characteristics of an organism of the individual. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the older the person, the more likely that he suffers from lactose intolerance.

Any disease that affects the cells of the small intestine that produce lactase, for example, inflammatory diseases, and even the flu. Such a state is "a secondary lactase deficiency". This is a temporary problem that disappears as soon as the disease persists, the damaged cells recover and start again to produce enzymes.

Surgery on the stomach and intestines, which can completely destroy the body's ability to produce lactase.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance

- Diarrhea, loose stools;
- Increased flatulence;
- Cpazmy in the abdomen.

What you can do?

Determine the extent of your lactose intolerance. In addition to observing the reaction of the organism in the milk and milk products, there are two ways to check the exact lactose intolerance:

- Oral tolerance test;
- A test of breath for hydrogen (includes measurement of hydrogen in exhaled air, which depends on the amount of undigested lactose).

Try to use products with reduced lactose or lactose does not contain. You should not completely deprive yourself of dairy products containing lactose, as it is not only drastically reduces the amount of calcium in the diet, but also reduces your body's ability to absorb calcium from nondairy foods (as lactose helps the intestines absorb and retain calcium).

Keep in mind that fat-free milk is safer because it has less fat. The problem is not with intolerance to fat, and lactose. Buttermilk and acidophilus milk also contain lactose, so they should also be careful.
Try yogurt. Many people who suffer from lactose intolerance, can properly digest lactose contained in yogurt. In this yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Use trial and error to determine what kind of yogurt you move better. Avoid pasteurized yogurt as benefit from them much less, and the harm of lactose retained.

Drink chocolate milk. Calcium from milk such well digested, and the chocolate taste makes it more enjoyable. Moreover, cocoa may even stimulate the activity of lactase.

Some cheeses, especially cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella and Swiss cheese are an excellent source of calcium. However, they are not dangerous in terms of lactose, as serum, which contains the most lactose is separated in the process of making cheese. But cottage cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese are rich in lactose, so they should not be abused.
Drink milk with meals or with cereal products. Acceptance of lactose simultaneously with food makes it easier to digest and causes less impact.

Drink milk in small amounts (? cup) several times a day with meals. This will fill the necessary dose of calcium and will not cause any problems.

Be careful and watch what you eat. Lactose may be contained in the bread, frozen vegetables, canned soups, sauces, and gas stations for salad, spaghetti, etc., in cereal breakfasts, cakes, candies, and even pharmaceutical products.
Watch closely for signs of lactose intolerance. If you have a problem, it is very likely that she was there, and your children. In infants, congenital lactose intolerance can be life threatening. Once a child suffering from lactose intolerance, fed breast milk or artificial food containing milk, it appears colic, flatulence, diarrhea, and it ceases to gain weight. Now available for a special artificial diet that contains no lactose. Contact your pediatrician, who will pick up your child's artificial nutrition and a balanced diet that will make the necessary rate of calcium in his diet.

What can a doctor?

Write down the enzymes in the form of tablets or drops. For the treatment of other diseases to prescribe drugs that do not contain lactose.

Assign treatment of severe secondary deficiency of lactase.
A dietitian can develop for you a balanced diet.
A pediatrician will help you choose your child's nutrition and give you the necessary advice on feeding the child.

Preventive measures of lactose intolerance

Be careful not to get sick digestive system diseases. In addition, there is almost no way to prevent this violation of the genetically programmed, as lactose intolerance.

However, some simple safety precautions will help people with mild manifestations of intolerance to lactase to avoid unpleasant symptoms, while not depriving themselves of all milk and dairy products.

If you are lactose intolerant, do not deprive yourself completely of dairy products. Try to eat calcium-rich foods such as milk, but in small doses (less than a cup) and drink it while eating. Usually, cheese and yogurt in small quantities quite easily tolerated by people with lactose intolerance.

You could also try milk, cheese and curd, which do not contain lactose or other sources of calcium such as soy milk, almonds, broccoli and other green vegetables, fish, etc.