Lactose Intolerance – Symptoms You Have Ignored Before

Lactose intolerance does not have to be very troublesome, but it can still reduce your quality of life. Check if you have not ignored its symptoms so far.
Lactose Intolerance - Symptoms that you previously ignored

Lactose intolerance  is not a figment of the 21st century – all food allergies and intolerances exist as long as a person begins to consume milk or grains in large quantities.

Lactose intolerance  is a fairly common problem as most of us stop digesting lactose with age. The probability that you are also affected is very high; Be sure to read about the symptoms of food intolerance that you may have ignored so far.

What is lactose intolerance?

Gradual genetic mutations in the human species mean that most of us can safely drink large amounts of milk until adulthood, without any side effects or problems with its absorption.

Lactose intolerance is a disorder that results in a straight line from the deficiency of the said enzyme. Lactose is then not properly absorbed by the body, and the sugars end up in the colon, where they ferment and produce gases that cause intestinal discomfort and gas.

A glass of milk

There are no serious complications when a person with lactose intolerance consumes dairy products; However, she suffers from bothersome temporary symptoms that significantly reduce the comfort and quality of life.

However, lactose intolerance is relatively easy to confuse with other digestive disorders, celiac disease or inflammation in the intestines.

It is also worth mentioning that in the case of many people, intolerance does not force them to completely give up dairy products. Most of us will not hurt to have one glass of milk or yogurt as it will have no side effects.

A good solution is also to choose products with a low lactose content to avoid such possible symptoms.

Symptoms accompanying lactose intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually appear half an hour to two hours after a meal containing dairy products.

Their intensity and annoyance, of course, depends on the person, the amount of the product consumed and how much of the enzyme responsible for digesting this substance your body has managed to produce.

It is worth emphasizing that not every symptom described below necessarily means that you are lactose intolerant. These symptoms may well suggest other digestive problems or food allergies, and even a temporary weakening of the body or the so-called stomach flu.

Milk and indigestion

The key to determining if your problem is lactose intolerance is the time it takes your symptoms to appear. If they occur immediately after eating cheese, yoghurt, milk or ice cream, it may actually indicate this ailment. Why is this happening?

  • Lactose fermentation by gut bacteria turns the pH acidic, which can in turn cause irritation and a burning sensation when using the toilet.
  • This process can also cause gas and stomach pain. These symptoms may persist even several hours after consuming dairy products.
  • It is also worth paying attention to the specific smell after defecation.

Lactose intolerance is often accompanied by constipation or diarrhea, as the inability to digest this substance disrupts a healthy intestinal flora.

Abdominal cramps and pain are also common. In the case of children and adolescents, they are also associated with nausea and vomiting relatively often. Symptoms such as:

  • significant weight loss
  • redness of the genital organs
  • abdominal muscle cramps
  • intense diarrhea

Less frequently, accompanying symptoms include skin problems, chronic fatigue and pain in the limbs.

How do you know if you are lactose intolerant?

If you suspect that your problem may be lactose intolerance, be sure to see a specialist who will diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatments. There are several ways to find out:

Glycemic response test

This method involves taking blood from a patient and measuring the initial glycemic index. The patient is then given a dose of 50 grams of lactose every 30 minutes for 2 hours (for a total of 4 doses). After this time, blood is drawn again and the difference in glycemic index is checked.

Aversion to milk

If the measurement shows the same result, it may be a sign of malabsorption of lactose. Of course, this test is not very accurate as the results may indicate other health problems, such as diabetes.

Hydrogen breath test

It is the most widely used method for detecting lactose intolerance. The patient takes the solution with lactose at 15-minute intervals, and then blows the air into a special bag.

The boy was served milk

If the sugars in the milk are not digested properly and end up in the intestine, the bacteria use them as their food and produce hydrogen as a by-product. If the measurement shows hydrogen in the exhaled air, it is probably a result of lactose intolerance.

Small intestine biopsy

To perform such a test, an endoscope is used, thanks to which a sample is obtained that is later analyzed in the laboratory. This allows the presence of lactose in the mucus to be detected.

Stool pH tests

This test is most often performed in young children who are suspected of lactose intolerance and for whom other tests might be too invasive or difficult to perform.

Genetic tests

This test checks for lactose intolerance caused by the MCM6 gene. A sample of saliva or blood is examined, from which two polymorphisms related to this ailment are analyzed.

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