Lactose intolerance is the inability of a person to properly digest lactose which is found in milk and many other dairy products. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance can include cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and bloating after consumption. Because these symptoms are uncomfortable and unpleasant, people who experience it often look for ways to alleviate them.
While a remedy or treatment that is effective for one person may not help another, the good news is there are enough options available where if one does not work, another one can easily be tried with nothing lost. To relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance, the options below should definitely be considered.
1. Non-dairy products
One of the most popular ways in alleviating symptoms of lactose intolerance is introducing non-dairy products into a diet. Some people believe that consuming milk from goats or sheep would aid in addressing lactose intolerance however this does not help the symptoms as all milk from mammals contains lactose. Products such as milk and cheese that contain soy are beneficial because soy has the calcium required for people to maintain a healthy diet but does not contain the lactose that causes illness.
Products such as almond, rice, and coconut milks are lactose free but do not contain the calcium required. However, they do contain beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. If a lactose intolerant person is concerned about not receiving enough calcium due to the inability to consume dairy, there are many other non-dairy foods that contain calcium such as broccoli, salmon, juices, and cereals.
Lactase is an enzyme located in the intestines that aids in the digestion of lactose. When a person does not produce enough lactase in their body, undigested lactose is allowed to pass freely into the colon which results in the symptoms of lactose intolerance. For this reason, many people who suffer from lactose intolerance have turned to taking lactase supplements to aid in digestion.
There are a variety of lactase products with some available in pill form that a person takes before consuming dairy or it comes as a liquid that is added to dairy products 24 hours before consuming them. Either form that a person chooses is effective in producing the lactase enzyme required to digest lactose.
3. Avoid large dairy servings
The smaller the serving of dairy is to be consumed, the less likely there will be complications in digestion. Therefore, to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance, it can be helpful to avoid large dairy servings. The average person can have approximately 10 grams of lactose per day. Some people with lactose intolerance cannot have this amount and need to avoid lactose altogether, but others can handle it if they spread it out over the course of a day.
Also helpful is consuming dairy with other foods. For example combining a solid food with milk may prove to be instrumental in allowing someone to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance because it slows the digestive process.
Probiotics are organisms naturally produced in intestines and aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Many people attempt to increase the presence of probiotics in their system by taking supplements or eating yogurt. Probiotics increase the healthy bacteria in your system that can facilitate the production of lactase that aids in the digestion process. Probiotics can help in reducing the symptoms of lactose intolerance such as diarrhea and bloating.
Therefore, probiotics can prove to be a double-edged sword, playing a role in preventing symptoms of lactose intolerance before they begin but if they do end up occurring, they can be crucial in reducing any discomfort experienced.