Have you been diagnosed with lactose intolerance? Lactose intolerance is nothing but the body’s inability to digest lactose, which is found in milk and dairy products. If you experience bloating, cramps, gurgling in the stomach, gas or nausea after consuming milk or other dairy products then you may be suffering from lactose intolerance.
These symptoms will appear after a gap of 30 minutes to 2 hours. The severity of the condition depends on how much lactase your body can produce. Most people suffer from mild lactose intolerance. Almost 65 percent people in the world suffer from this problem and the problem is more common among children. Many people think that cutting down on dairy products so as to avoid all those symptoms that are associated with gastrointestinal issues. If not treated, it may result in extreme gastric distress and excruciating pain. When the enzyme lactase is lacking in the body of the person, he may result in facing a difficulty in the digestion of lactose found in the dairy products.
Foods With Lactose Content
- Baked goods
- Salad dressings
- Sweets and candies
- Pancake mix
Besides the usual milk products, the above mentioned products may also contain fair amounts of lactose. So remember to read the label before buying.
Maintain A Food Diary
As stated above, people may have mild to severe lactose intolerance. If you experience any of the above symptoms after consuming milk or milk products then start writing a diary about the quantity of product consumed and the reactions afterwards. This will help your doctor understand the condition better and if your condition is not severe, he can experiment with different quantities to find the amount of lactose your body is comfortable with and can easily digest. Maintaining a food diary goes a long way in ensuring that the body feels comfortable with lactose in the body.
You can replace milk and milk products with another tasty alternative: SOY. Soy milk is increasingly being used as a healthier substitute to milk. It is made by soaking dry soybeans and then grinding them with water to release the plant milk. Soy milk contains the same amount of protein as cow’s milk minus the saturated fats and the cholesterol. It can be used to make tofu, shakes, desserts, etc. So the next time you have a craving for milk just picks up a soy milk tetra pack from the supermarket instead and enjoy the heavenly taste!
A good way to hide your lactose intolerance and turn it into something fashionable is to become vegan. Veganism refers to the practice of abstaining from any meat or animal products in your diet. So if you are a vegetarian already, going vegan is a good idea to deal with your lactose intolerance. Besides, you have celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Maneka Gandhi, Pamela Anderson and Carrie Underwood for company.
Read Product Labels
Lactose is a common ingredient in most foods found on supermarket shelves. Consumption of this ‘hidden’ lactose can sometimes lead to severe problems. It is therefore a good idea to carefully scan the labels of any food items that you buy.
Lactase Enzyme Pills
Like with all conditions known to man, lactose intolerance has also found a pill to counteract it. This enzyme supplement provides the body with the lactase enzyme to help it break down the lactose from dairy products. Although this spells good news for those with severe reactions to milk and milk products, regular use of this pill is not recommended.
Lactose Free Milk
If you cannot do without your daily glass of milk for breakfast, you may want to try the lactose free milk available in the market. Lactose free milk is your regular milk from which the lactose has been removed. So it is all taste and no intolerance!
Live It Up
Do not let your lactose intolerance become a hindrance to leading a normal life. As listed above, there are several ways to deal with it. Besides, newer options like rice milk, hazelnut milk and almond milk mean that you will never run out of choice! Also, be sure to get tested by a doctor since there are other conditions with similar symptoms.