Categorized | Lactose in the News

Foods intolerance and food allergies usually produce similar symptoms, but these kinds of are not the same. – Harvard Health

Food intolerance and food allergies often produce similar symptoms, but they’re different. If dairy products leave you feeling gassy and bloated or cause diarrhea or nausea, you may have either situation.

What’s the difference? A dairy allergy is an immune system reaction to milk protein. In addition to feeling puffed up or causing diarrhea, symptoms of a dairy products allergy can include hives, wheezing, throwing up, cramps, and skin rashes. Dairy intolerance results from inadequate levels of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar. While lactose intolerance can cause lots of discomfort, it isn’t life threatening, whilst a milk allergy can be.

The severity of lactose intolerance varies. For some people, consuming any dairy products product causes their digestive tracts to rebel. Others can enjoy yogurt, ice cream, or even an occasional glass of milk.

The most prosperous approach to coping with lactose intolerance is to initial avoid all dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant and love milk in all its forms, try experimenting with a small amount of dairy. In general, yogurt, parmesan cheese, and sour cream may be simpler to tolerate because they contain less lactose than milk. However , several research suggest that many people who are lactose intolerant can consume the equivalent of eight ounces of milk with no ill effects, and somewhat more when the lactose-containing your meals are part of a meal.

Health supplements containing enzymes produced by lactose-digesting bacterias (Lactaid, Lactrase, others) can be accepted as tablets or added to foods. Several milk products (Lactaid, Dairy Ease) to which lactase has been added may include little or no lactose, and they may taste sweeter than untreated products, since the milk sugar has already been broken down. Probiotics (supplements of beneficial bacteria that normally inhabit the intestines) containing Lactobacillus reuteri may reduce symptoms, however, not quite as well as enzyme supplements.

The response to these products is highly individual. What works for your will depend on the amount of lactase your body produces, the type of intestinal bacteria that inhabit your colon, and the product itself. Finding the right approach for you can be a trial-and-error process. While this may take some time and expense, testing isn’t likely to be harmful.

For more on food intolerances, buy The Sensitive Gut, a Special Health Document from Harvard Medical School.

Image: iStock

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