What Lactose Intolerance ?

Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder wherein the individual can not digest a disaccharide (mixture of two hexose sugars). Lactose contains a molecule of glucose and a molecule of galactose in it.

To break lactose into its constituent hexoses an enzyme called lactase is needed. People in whom lactase is deficient are not able to digest lactose properly. It is not life-threatening. A careful medical management helps to cope up with this deficiency.

What Are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance leads to following painful symptoms though:

  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swelling in stomach

Are There Any Tests for Diagnosing Lactose Intolerance?

Yes. The following tests are quite useful in confirming the Lactose intolerance:

  • Blood and Breath tests
  • Stools test

What are the products that one needs to avoid?

Avoid following products as they contain a lot of lactose:

  • Ice cream
  • Ice milk
  • Sherbet
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Some cheeses
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt

Do Some Prepared Foods Contain Lactose?

Yes, Of course. They are:

  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Lunch meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and biscuits
  • Frozen dinners

How Does One Know That a Particular Product contains Lactose?

Watch out for following labels carefully before buying a product:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Dried milk
  • Lactose
  • Milk
  • Milk solids
  • Powdered milk
  • Whey

Aged cheeses, like cheddar and Swiss, how ever have very little lactose. So, better try them.

Are There Any Pills to Counter Lactose Intolerance?

Yes. They are:

lactase enzyme caplets:

Chew them before you take your food.

lactase enzyme drops:

Add few drops of this liquid before you drink it.

Can One have Lactose Free Milk?

Yes . Not free though. A bit of lactose is not troublesome. Go for

lactose-reduced milk.

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