It is such a hassle to feel queasy and uncomfortable, especially with stomach pain. This is how lactose intolerance affects us. Intake of dairy products becomes notorious for triggering lactose intolerance. People having this condition continuously find ways to relieve it and even treat it. This is where lactose intolerance pills enter the picture. Some promote that these work better than home remedies, but is it true? Do lactose intolerance pills really work?
Lactose Intolerance Symptoms
After eating or drinking foods and beverages with lactose, many may feel the symptoms as early as 30 minutes after consumption. Lactose intolerant patients feel nauseous, gassy, bloated, and may experience diarrhea ad vomiting. Some may have late reactions to the lactose content, but they would feel the same symptoms.
Why am I Lactose Intolerant?
As unfair as it may sound, some people lack the enzyme that helps the body digest lactose. As you may have read in other articles, lactose is the sugar content in milk. The enzyme in the body that digests this sugar into simple sugars is called lactase. If your stomach does not produce enough lactase, the sugar does not get digested and absorbed. It then goes down to your colon, where bacteria (good and bad) reside. Once they interact with the undigested sugar, they irritate the colon, thus producing the signs and symptoms of the condition.
Treatment for Lactose Intolerance
Avoid Dairy Products
The best and most conservative way to fight lactose intolerance symptoms includes avoidance of dairy products. Some doctors give medical advice as to how they can manage to have a good and healthy diet without dairy and milk.
You need to let go of cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, and other food products that contain dairy raw materials. The doctor’s medical advice may either be too stringent (avoid all lactose-containing products) or lenient as to lessen or lower your consumption, depending on how severe your symptoms are.
Get Calcium Somewhere Else
One of the most beneficial characteristics of dairy and milk products is their ability to supply good amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. If you need to lessen or completely forget about dairy products, you need to find calcium in other foods.
Consider adding broccoli, green leafy vegetables, salmon, orange, and almonds to your diet greatly helps. You can also drink milk substitutes like soy or almond milk to get your daily dose of calcium for your bones and teeth.
Take Lactose Intolerance Pills
If foregoing lactose-rich foods and drinks sounds too difficult for you, you may try taking lactose intolerance pills. In some situations, doctors may let you try taking exogenous oral lactase enzymes for your worsening lactose intolerance symptoms. Most lactase enzymes get synthesized using fungi or yeast, allowing them to produce more and get marketed in bulk. Lactose intolerance pills may be available in the form of gels, liquids, capsules, or tablets.
Remember that these lactase enzyme-containing lactose intolerance pills are for people who love consuming dairy products. If you have the will and ability to forego milk and cheese, there is no reason for you to take these. The standard dose of lactase enzyme is 6,000 to 9,000 international units (IU) to be taken immediately before a dairy-containing meal. It is always advised to start at a low dose and increase the dose incrementally.
What To Consider With Lactose Intolerance Pills
Check your blood sugar levels
Lactase enzyme supplements are safe to use and well-tolerated with no known adverse effects. However, caution should be exercised in certain individuals, such as diabetics. As lactase is digested into simple sugars, it is important to check the blood sugar levels in diabetes patients after taking lactase to ensure that they are not absorbing excessive amounts of the simple sugars.
Watch out for Allergic Reactions
In some cases, lactase enzymes can also trigger allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis, if untreated, may lead to serious consequences such as shock, coma, and in extreme cases, death.
Typically, doctors who advocate lactose intolerance pills would say that their use would stay safe and effective for anyone with problems with dairy products. But because its use lacks safety information, lactase supplements may not be recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
If you think you may have lactose intolerance, try cutting dairy products from your diet for a few days to see if your symptoms ease. Let your doctor know if your symptoms got better on the days you didn’t have dairy products.