A lactose intolerance diet is used to treat the deficiency of the enzyme lactase.Lactose intolerance is a common disorder that causes difficulty digesting dairy products. Beginning after age 4, nearly 70 percent of people develop lactose intolerance to some degree.
The medical condition is caused from low activity or absence of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for the digestion of milk sugar. The incidence of this illness increases with age, perhaps because lactase activity decreases as a person ages.
Few sufferers require a lactose diet intolerance that is completely free of dairy products. The amount of dairy allowed depends on whether the suffer is totally or partially lactase deficient. Most people can tolerate some milk if it is carefully spaced throughout the day. Many can eat yogurt or cheese because the lactose is broken down by the active cultures. Over the counter enzyme tablets are available that permit digestion of dairy foods to benefit lactose intolerant people.
Since the lactose diet intolerance is somewhat flexible, it is easy to follow. The even better news is that unlike many other diets, it may not be permanent. Many folks can gradually add dairy products without experiencing ill effects.
The lactose intolerance diet is used to alleviate the following gastrointestinal symptoms of the condition:
symptoms lactose intolerance
Classic signs of lactose intolerance include abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
what Causes lactose intolerance
The above symptoms happen because undigested lactose is fermented by intestinal bacteria and it draws water into your intestine. The acids and gases formed by fermentation then combine with the excess water to cause bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Since milk and milk products are the only sources of lactose, eliminating or limiting them can prevent digestion distress.
Before prescribing the lactose intolerance diet, the doctor will measure your ability to digest lactose by performing tests. After evaluation, your physician may recommend that you eliminate consumption of milk or milk products altogether or use lactose enzyme tablets.
Following a Lactose Intolerance Diet
At home, try to follow these important guidelines:
Avoid milk and milk productsLimit or eliminate the amount of ordinary milk and dairy products you consume. For example, drink no more than half a cup of milk per day. Try drinking small amounts of buttermilk and eating small servings of cheese and yoghurt to help breakdown lactose.
Avoid baked goods made with milk such as sausages that contain milk solids and creamy sauces and gravies. Processed foods containing other less obvious sources of lactose like chocolate, caramel, cocoa mixes, certain non-dairy creamers, vitamins, instant potatoes, and frozen French fries should also be avoided. Read food labels carefully for milk solids, whey, lactose, or casein.
* Substitute water or fruit juices for milk in recipes.
* When eating in restaurants, avoiding foods prepared with sauces, gravies, or bread is a good idea.
* Use calcium fortified soy milk as a milk substitute.
* Try adding an enzyme preparation to milk before drinking so the enzyme will break down much of the lactose in milk.
Risk factorsCalcium deficiency can complicate the lactose intolerance diet as a result of the reduction of milk and milk products. Although, calcium rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and grains may provide small amounts of calcium, these sources are not absorbed well by the body.
As your symptoms improve, try adding small amounts of dairy products. If you tolerate them well, gradually add more to your lactose intolerance diet. Sometimes chocolate milk is tolerated better than regular milk. When adding cottage cheese into your diet, try different brands because the amount of lactose they contain varies greatly.