Lactose Intolerance Symptoms – Lactose intolerance is among the most common diseases in the United States. It has been rapidly increasing, and as per the data points released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States recorded more than 3,000,000 cases of lactose intolerance each year.
It is not a deadly disease, But there is no cure available. Lactose intolerance is a situation where the person is not able to digest sugar available in dairy products. People who have a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase in their bodies suffer from lactose intolerance.
Today we will talk about everything related to lactose intolerance symptoms, warnings, and treatment options.
Signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance
Let’s first start with the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. Many of the signs and symptoms are also related to other diseases, so do not solely rely on these symptoms to diagnose yourself as lactose intolerant.
Usually, the symptoms happen after 30 to 60 minutes of consuming any kind of product, which includes lactose. Symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can be different in each person.
Most people suffering from lactose intolerance experience gas when they consume any kind of dairy product. It is among the most common symptoms in lactose-intolerant people. Most people feel better once they release the gas caused by lactose intolerance.
Kindly remember all of the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance are also associated with other physical conditions. If you were experiencing gas without consuming dairy products, it could be due to other conditions. Apart from that, you must make a note of when the symptoms start.
The second most common symptom of lactose intolerance is abdominal cramps. A huge number of people have reported having abdominal cramps after consuming dairy products. Usually, people experience abdominal cramps after 30 minutes of consuming daily products.
Along with the abdominal cramp, you might also experience the rising temperature of your body and sweating. If you are also experiencing similar symptoms after consuming dairy products, then you should consult with your doctor.
Diarrhea is not a common symptom of lactose intolerance. There are very few people who experience diarrhea after consuming dairy products. Lactose intolerant people can manage above given symptoms, but it is very hard to maintain diarrhea. It is the extreme intolerance type, and most doctors suggest the patient not consume any kind of dairy product from now on.
Apart from the above given, sometimes there are a few very common symptoms. There is a probability that after consuming dairy products, You might experience symptoms like vomiting and lower belly pain. Even though the person won’t vomit, the feeling of vomiting is going to stay for a couple of hours.
At the same time, you might also experience an urgent need to go to the toilet after consuming consumer products. Apart from that, some people might also experience Constipation after consuming dairy products.
The severity of all the symptoms might be different in two patients. It depends on how much lactose one person can tolerate. There are a few types of lactose intolerance that we are going to discuss now.
Types and Causes of Lactose intolerance
Now let’s take a look at the major types and causes of lactose intolerance. The main idea behind lactose intolerance is the ability of a person to digest dairy products that are high in lactose. There could be different causes and types, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
Primary lactose intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is among the most common types of lactose intolerance. Usually, it is caused by the decrease in lactase production with age. There is a high probability that by that time, you might lose your ability to absorb dairy products rich in lactose.
As per the data points released by the National Library of Medicine, around 80 to 90% of African and Asian people experience primary lactose intolerance. At the same time, around 50% of Latin and Middle Eastern people experience it.
Secondary lactose intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance develops when another medical condition affects the small intestine where lactose is produced by your body. Other medical conditions might increase inflammation in the wall of the gut, which may lead to a temporary decline in lactase production in the body.
As a result of all that, a person becomes lactose intolerant. If a person is going through chemotherapy, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis, They are more vulnerable to developing secondary lactose intolerance.
Congenital Lactose intolerance
It is the third type of lactose intolerance, and usually, it develops in newborn babies. It is among the rarest conditions where both parents must possess a specific type of gene mutation. These types of infants are also unable to nurse due to lactose intolerance content in breast milk. These types of infants experience severe diarrhea and high calcium levels, and they may experience it lifelong.
Diagnosis of lactose intolerance
Now let’s take a look at the diagnosis process of lactose intolerance. Even though you can self-diagnose yourself at home, help explorers suggest everyone get their self diagnosed by a professional.
To self-diagnose yourself, you can have a glass of milk and see if It causes any symptoms of lactose intolerance. If you do not experience any symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as bloating, gas diarrhea, or Constipation, then you are not lactose intolerant.
Even if you meet a doctor, they will ask about the symptoms you are experiencing after having milk or any food item with the lactose. But sometimes, your doctor might suggest you go for a hydrogen pre-test or lactose tolerance test.
Hydrogen breath test
Once you reach your doctor’s photo diagnosis of lactose intolerance, your doctor might ask you to drink a liquid that will contain high levels of lactose. After that, your doctor will keep measuring the amount of hydrogen in your breath at regular intervals. If your breath contains too much hydrogen, that means your body has not digested the lactose, and you are lactose intolerant.
Blood glucose test
The second type of lactose intolerance test is the blood glucose test. First of all, your doctor will take a blood test and measure the amount of glucose in your blood. After that, you will be asked for a liquid that contains high levels of lactose. Once again, your doctor will take a blood test and measure the amount of glucose in your body. If the blood glucose levels do not rise as they should, it means your body is not absorbing lactose.
Treatment options for lactose intolerance
Before we wrap this session, let’s take a look at the treatment options available for lactose intolerance. Even though you can diagnose yourself at home for lactose intolerance, health experts suggest everyone appear for a diagnosis for the same.
First of all, your doctor will suggest you start enzyme supplements which will help your body to digest lactose. Even though the effectiveness of enzyme supplements may vary, in most cases, enzyme supplements were able to improve the condition. Health experts are still doing intensive studies on enzyme supplements as the placebo effect is also providing similar results.
You should never start any kind of enzyme supplement on your own and always consult with your doctor before you start it. You might not require the enzymes supplement but other treatment options.
Probiotics and prebiotics
The second thing your doctor can suggest to treat lactose intolerance is probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms that contain several health benefits. It can also help you improve your digestive system along with lactose tolerance.
You should always include prebiotics along with probiotics as it is the food for the microorganisms produced by the probiotics. In small studies, both probiotics and prebiotics are known to provide good benefits when it comes to lactose tolerance.
Lastly, as a treatment for lactose intolerance, your doctor might suggest you increase your exposure to lactose. Your doctor might suggest regularly consuming small amounts of lactose so that your body can adapt to it.
Even though there are no proven studies for lactose exposure, the initial results of some studies are very positive. You should try to consume high-fat milk or whole milk, which will be the best choice as your body takes more time to consume it.
Can you cure lactose intolerance?
No, lactose intolerance is not curable, but the treatment option can help you lower the intensity of symptoms. A lactose intolerant person has to work very hard to digest food items that contain lactose. They might have to increase their tolerance by consuming lactose food every day, and they might also have to use enzyme supplements. There are few treatment options available for lactose intolerance, but it is not going to cure the condition.