Imagine life without milk, ice cream, chocolates, and cheese. Some people may say those with lactose intolerance are missing half of their lives. Consuming foods with lactose makes them feel body discomforts, like abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Many who would want to avoid these symptoms would eradicate lactose in their food and drink intake altogether. However, some who wouldn’t want to miss out try some remedies at home. These remedies try to pacify the symptoms and improve the condition and the digestive system. This would let them, little by little, include lactose-containing products in their diet minus the uneasiness. But are there really meds for lactose intolerance?
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
If you feel queasy when you drink milk once or twice, that does not necessarily mean you have lactose intolerance. This condition is not on a one-time basis. Suppose you consistently feel discomfort every time you consume food and drinks containing lactose. In that case, you may actually have to visit your doctor so you will be formally diagnosed as lactose intolerant.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Feeling of fullness/bloatedness
- Flatulence or belching
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
Once these symptoms get worse, you may increase your risk of developing dehydration which may cause further harm to the body.
Types of Lactose Intolerance
You may wonder, how can someone be so unlucky to have lactose intolerance? Well, unfortunately, this condition is oftentimes hereditary. The three types of lactose intolerance (primary, congenital, and familial) all show that the incapacity of the body to break down and absorb lactase all resort to genetics.
Primary lactose intolerance/lactase deficiency develops with the baby being able to tolerate milk. However, once the mother stops or weans him out of the milk, the body loses the ability to process the lactose from other sources.
Congenital lactose intolerance/lactase deficiency happens directly at birth, where the newborn’s genes cannot produce the enzymes that break down the lactose.
Lastly, familial lactase deficiency or intolerance may differ since the body already has enough lactase. However, it does not target the lactose in the body, so it becomes part of the body’s waste instead of converting it to nutrition.
Meds for Lactose Intolerance
Aside from changing your diet and avoiding lactose-filled food and beverages, there are two more ways for people to cope with lactose intolerance. One is finding an alternative to dairy products, so they still get the nutrients that they provide without the lactose component. The next one includes trying out meds to help them tolerate lactose-rich dairy products.
- Lactase Enzyme Tablets or Liquid Drops
One discovery is for a patient to take supplements of the enzyme the breaks down the lactose in milk and other dairy foodstuffs. You can take it before or after meals since this tablet can activate the body enzymes that digest lactose. In turn, it allows the body to absorb the essential nutrients.
However, not all lactose intolerant patients can agree that this option works. Just look at patients with familial lactase deficiency whose bodies generate enough lactase but do not use it effectively.
Probiotics are living organisms present in your gut that aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. These organisms are also available as active or “live” cultures in some yogurts and as supplements in capsule form.
Having lactose intolerance not only makes life a little less delicious (pun intended), but it also can increase your risk of not getting the right amount of nutrition that the body needs. The importance of getting food and drink substitutes allows you to consume the ideal amounts of vitamins and minerals that you can find in dairy products and other food groups that may contain lactose.
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