Living with Lactose Intolerance

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Last updated on February 21st, 2024 at 06:13 pm

You may be lactose intolerant. Have you drunk a café latte and had a gassy, bloated, cramped stomach afterward? Or maybe you experienced stomach pain after having your favorite cereal? If so, it might be because of the milk, more specifically the lactose, that goes with it! So, let's dive into what lactose is and Lactose Intolerance Symptoms.

What Is Lactose?

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose, which the body uses for high energy. There are also many sources of enzymes that break down lactose, including yogurt, cheese, and buttermilk. The amount of lactase in your system determines how much you can break down, so if you're missing this enzyme, it's possible that consuming these foods will cause gastrointestinal discomforts such as stomach cramps or diarrhea. It can be challenging to digest for some people, especially those with lactose intolerance. 

What Is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose Intolerance is also known as lactose malabsorption.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose – a sugar in milk and dairy products. Lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose, is usually produced by cells lining the small intestine. When these cells are damaged or destroyed (by disease, injury, or surgery), less lactase is available for the digestion of dairy products like cheese and yogurt. 

Moreover, for many people, dairy products are a part of their daily diet. Those individuals with lactose intolerance lack the enzymes needed to digest it. According to a 2017 review of data from around the world, a large portion of the population lacks the enzymes responsible for lactose digestion—the natural sugar in dairy products. Furthermore, about 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, which means they experience discomfort after consuming it. 

As we age, our bodies produce less and less lactase, the enzyme you need to be able to digest lactose, so it's common for people to become lactose intolerant as they get older. 

Lactose intolerance is relatively harmless; however, its symptoms can be unbearable.


Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

Hydrogen Breath – Testing For Lactose Intolerance

This test is a quick, easy-to-use tool for diagnosing food intolerances. It works by measuring the amount of hydrogen gas exhaled after drinking water or lactose-free milk with glucose. Moreover,  the more hydrogen you produce, your sensitivity to sugars and other carbohydrates increases. It also involves drinking a solution of water and sugar. After consuming sugar, the person blows into a device to measure how much gas is produced by bacteria in the gut. This test, which does not require fasting or sedation, has been shown to diagnose lactose intolerance accurately and celiac disease with 88% accuracy compared with other tests such as blood tests and biopsies.      

Moving Forward Without Dairy

Whether you are vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to reduce your dairy intake, plenty of great dairy substitutes are available. You can certainly get all the benefits of milk without consuming dairy. fresh-dairy-products

Some Of The Milk Substitutes You Can Enjoy Even If You Have LactoseIntolerance Include:

    • Soy Milk
    • Almond Milk
    • Pea Milk
    • Rice Milk
    • Oat Milk
    • Hemp Milk
    • Coconut-based Milk
    • Goat Milk

If You Are Suffering From Lactose Intolerance, Be Wary Of These Products:

    • Evaporated Milk
    • Condensed Milk
    • Ice Cream
    • Cottage Cheese
    • Ricotta
    • Sour Cream
    • Cheese Spreads


Treatment options vary depending on your symptoms, but remedies are available. This certainly includes taking over-the-counter medications like Lactaid or eating yogurt with live cultures that help ease digestion.

Lactaid contains live active cultures that act as probiotics in your system, helping break down lactose into something your body can absorb.

Digestive problems can be miserable! Learn how to heal your gut and once again enjoy your favorite foods.14-Day Digestive Health Quick Start Program

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