OK, so I have been doing some research on exactly what lactose intolerance is, so I can understand it better. Below is a summary of what I found. I feel by understanding the syndrome, I can better manage my food choices.
THE DEFINITION (source 1)
Individuals may be lactose intolerant to varying degrees. “Lactose malabsorption” means the body does not have sufficient lactase capacity to digest the amount of lactose ingested. A medical condition with similar symptoms is fructose malabsorption.
SOME CAUSES (SOURCE 2)
Congenital: the main cause, where your genetic make up causes you to have less lactase than usual.
Gastroenteritis: this can strip the intestines of lactase for a few weeks.
Parasitic infection: this can temporarily reduce lactase levels.
Iron deficiency: lack of iron in the diet can interfere with lactose digestion and absorption
These appear thirty minutes to two hours after consumption. The severity of symptoms typically increases with the amount of lactose consumed; most lactose-intolerant people can tolerate a certain level of lactose in their diet without ill-effect.
- abdominal bloating
- flatulence (farting, really stinky ones too)
- borborygmi (rumbling tummy – who knew it had an official name??!!)
- vomiting (especially in adolescents)
DAIRY FOODS AND LACTOSE INTOLERANCE (source 3)
- People with lactose maldigestion DO NOT need to eliminate dairy foods from their diet.
- Research has shown that the majority of people with low lactase enzyme levels can consume at least one cup of milk (about 12 grams of lactose) a day.
- Many dairy foods do not contain large amounts of lactose.
- Most cheeses contain virtually no lactose and are usually well tolerated
- Yogurt is also generally well digested as it contains bacteria that ferment (or consume) the lactose.
TIPS FOR INCLUDING DAIRY IN YOUR DIET
The amount of lactose that can be tolerated will vary. Here are some tips to help you include your 3 serves of dairy every day.
1. Drink milk with other foods and not on an empty stomach
2. Distribute milk intake into small serves spread out over the day
3. Build up your tolerance. Start small and gradually increase your milk consumption
4. Regular fat milk may be better tolerated than low fat or skim milk. Fat slows the passage of lactose through your digestive system giving you more time to digest it
5. Yogurt is often better tolerated than milk; and
6. Cheese is low in lactose and is well tolerated.
Well, its nice to understand the origins of lactose intolerance, Im surprised to read that you can incorporate it into the diet, although this source is in partnership with dairy Australia, so Im not so sure I want to try it. Yogurt always bloated me and full cream milk did the same. Perhaps I need to reassess and be more conscious of how much I have within the day, limiting it to 1 cup per day.
In any case, there is a brand called LIDDELLS (not an official endorsement) and they make lactose free milk, cheese and butter. been using it and so far, so good.
Hope you learnt something. I did 😉
Over and out travellers