Ayurveda

Lactose Intolerance – Lactose Intolerance and Milk Allergy, Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance

is a condition where an individual is unable to digest significant amounts of lactose due to deficiency of lactase.

Lactose

is a sugar found in milk and milk products.

Lactase

is an enzyme, which is produced by the cells lining the small intestine. Main function of lactase is to break down the lactose into two simpler forms of sugar called galactose and glucose. Bloodstream absorbs these simpler forms of sugar.

Lactose intolerance and Milk Allergy

There is a general confusion prevailing among masses about lactose intolerance and milk allergy. Milk allergy is the body’s adverse reaction towards one or more milk proteins. Immune system is involved in this case; whereas lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder.

Milk allergy is commonly seen in children, that is, in the initial stages of life; whereas lactose intolerance is mostly seen in adults. Unlike lactose intolerance, milk allergy can be fatal.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance:

Actually lactase deficiency is the cause of lactose intolerance, but the question is why there is lactase deficiency? There are two types of lactase deficiency: primary and secondary.

Primary lactase deficiency is a genetic condition in an individual. Researchers give a reason of a possible inheritance of certain type of gene from their parents. Genetic tests that screen this disorder are yet to develop. They aim to identify people at risk for lactose intolerance.

Secondary lactase deficiency occurs due to an injury to small intestinal which damages the linings that produce lactase. Other conditions that impairs lactase production are celiac disease, diarrheal illness, Crohn’s disease and chemotherapy.

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