Lactose Intolerant - The inability to digest or an intolerance/allergy to the milk sugar (lactose).
* Find out why you are having issues with lactose and what you can do about it to enjoy milk again.*
How it Happens
Many people become lactose intolerant after an ailment or as they begin to age. When a person falls ill, the flora in the intestines may become unbalanced. Antibiotic usage can also cause an imbalance in the natural gut flora. When an imbalance of flora exists in the gut, this can lead to intolerances to specific foods.
In the case of an imbalanced gut flora, this can cause an intolerance or allergy to milk sugar (lactose). In other cases, old age can result in the loss of the enzyme to break down the lactose. It is important for you to find out which of the above category you fit into, in order to found out the possibilities of reintroducing milk products back into your diet.
What can you do?
If you are intolerant/allergic to lactose, this would mean that you would want to avoid all milk ingredients altogether. Your body reacts to this ingredient and the only solution is to avoid it.
Otherwise if you simply cannot breakdown the milk ingredient, there are many lactose pills that exist in the market. You can purchase these at a local herbal supplement store and take the pills as directed on the bottle before the consumption of any milk products. These pills contain the enzyme necessary to breakdown the lactose so that you do not experience the negative symptoms.
What Type are you?
In order to identify if you are intolerant/allergic to lactose or if you simply do not have the enzyme to break it down. Try taking a lactose pill before consuming any milk ingredients. If you still experience gassiness/bloating, diarrhea, etc. then you are likely intolerant/allergic to milk ingredients. If however, the pill appears to reduce or eliminate gas/bloating, diarrhea, etc. then it is likely that you just lack the enzyme required to break down the lactose.
The majority of people with lactose issues, are usually associated with cow's milk only. Many lactose intolerant people have no issues drinking milk made from other sources such as almond, soy, goat, brown rice, etc. There also exist cases where some people cannot drink goat's milk or almond milk due to their allergies with them.
If you are having troubles consuming the alternative milk products, then it is suggested that you consult your local alternative practitioner to find out which foods you have allergies with This can provide insight into the food sources that you should avoid altogether. Otherwise, you would need to keep a food journal/diary and experiment with the various milk products to find out which ones you may be compatible with.
Make note of all the symptoms that you may experience during your experimentation with the milk products. This way you can look back and see the patterns of symptoms that you had experienced with the different milk products. If patterns emerge with specific milk products, then it is best that you avoid them.
Many types of foods contain milk however it may not be labeled as milk. Casein is the protein in milk and it causes grievances to those with milk sensitivities. If you are lactose intolerant, it is important to always read the labels of food products to ensure that they do not contain milk products.
If you are unaware of all the milk sources out there, know that it is common for food manufacturers to place an additional disclosure below the ingredient list, explicitly stating if it is diary-free or that it does not contain any milk products, etc.
In certain cases, you may not even have access to the external wrappers for the foods that are available to you. This is because you may be at a house party and the foods are already unwrapped. To have a general sense of which foods usually contain milk, they are chocolate candies, bakeries, creamy sauces such as tartar, and ice cream.
Try to read as many ingredient labels from as many food products as you can, the very next time you are at a grocery store. You may be in for a surprise but you will also become an experienced shopper as well. Over time you can quickly make a judgement as to whether a food product contains milk or not.
Many specialty grocery stores sell products that are friendly to those who are lactose intolerant. If you have been tempted to consume foods that contain milk, you can alternatively go to the specialty stores and see if they have any similar products that substitute the use of milk with another ingredient that you may consume.
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