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Lactose Intolerance Treatment

If you have had nausea, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, or flatulence after having any milk product, more often than not, this means that you suffer from lactose intolerance. However, only your doctor will be able to tell you for sure whether you are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. This is determined through various tests such as a hydrogen breath test, stool acidity test and intestinal biopsy test. A milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance as it an adverse reaction to the consumption of milk and milk products – often coughing and congestion are the symptoms. Lactose intolerance, however, is a condition occurring due to the inability of the body to produce a certain enzyme, namely the lactase enzyme, which helps in the digestion of lactose, found primarily in dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, sour cream, chocolates and yogurt, to name a few.

In addition, it can also be present in other foods such as meat (hot dogs), margarines, breads and cereals. Processed foods often contain lactose to enhance their sweetness. It would be advisable to read any packaging available on such processed as well as ready-made foods.

There is no real treatment for lactose intolerance. One mainly has to restrict their diet. The levels of the severity vary from person to person. Some people are extremely sensitive to a minute percentage of lactose present in their foods, however some are able to digest butter, certain cheeses and yogurts. Yogurt sometimes works because it naturally contains the lactase enzyme which is used to digest lactose. Low fat foods are also not recommended either as they may contain milk solids. Naturally made cheeses are recommended as they contain mostly fats and because of the long period of fermentation lose most of the lactose. However, processed cheeses contain milk solids again.

Lactose Intolerance Cure

One can control overcome lactose intolerance based on the severity of the condition. Such measures are the closest to any possible lactose intolerance cures or lactose intolerance remedies. It is recommended for people with low levels of intolerance to introduce dairy products in small quantities several times a day over a period of time. Also there are lactose free milk products available in the market. These are treated through severe pasteurization and are stripped of lactose completely. Other alternatives include soy milk, which is freely available in the market, rice milk, and oat milk. One major concern in lactose intolerant people is the lack of calcium in their diet, which should be replenished using either supplements approved by the doctor or consuming calcium fortified orange juice, green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, tuna and salmon. 

While there may not be any 100% successful lactose intolerance treatment, the body may be conditioned to digest lactose by using lactase supplements available that help in its digestion. Again, these should be taken only on a doctor’s approval.

Submitted on January 16, 2014