What is Lactose?
Lactose is a form of sugar which is made up of glucose and galactose. It is mostly found in milk products. Lactose is split into glucose and galactose by an enzyme called Lactase. Our body consumes this glucose and galactose in the form of energy.
When we eat something containing lactose, lactase, the enzyme present in the small intestine breaks it down into glucose and galactose which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. These sugar forms are then consumed in the form of energy to provide fuel to the body.
What is Lactose Intolerance?
When lactase activity is reduced in the small intestine, lactose is not digested and can get fermented by the intestine leading lactose intolerance.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
What are the causes of Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is very common. This digestive disorder can be caused either due to a decrease in lactase production due to age or it can also be caused due to illness like a stomach bug or celiac disease. The inflammation in the gut leads to a decline in the production of lactase.
What to do in Lactose Intolerance?
If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms after consuming dairy products like milk, curd, buttermilk, cheese, butter or products made from these food items, you may need to cut back or remove dairy products from their diets.
However, dairy products are important sources of nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamins like A, B12 and D. So, without these essential nutrients, your body may suffer health-related problems. Conclusively, you will need to get these nutrients from other sources instead.
It is therefore important to replace it with suitable alternative sources of calcium, vitamins, proteins.
How to treat Lactose Intolerance?
If your body is unable to produce lactase enzyme you can provide your body with this enzyme from other sources.
Besides, according to studies, probiotics and prebiotics are also good alternatives for reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance.
What is the conclusion?
You cannot afford to stay deprived of the important nutrients it gets from the dairy products. However, if your body is not able to digest dairy food products, it is still possible to have a healthy and balanced diet without it. Just make sure that your protein, calcium and vitamins to get everything that your body needs to produce energy.