4 signs it may be time to cut out lactose

Roxiller/ iStockLactose intolerance is common.
  • Lactose intolerance affects 65% of the global population.
  • Not enough lactase can make it hard for your body to break down lactose.
  • These are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance is an extremely common digestive disorder that affects an estimated 65% of the global population.

The disorder occurs when your body is unable to make enough of an enzyme called lactase, which is essential for breaking down and digesting the sugar in the body called lactose.

Since the condition is typically more uncomfortable than actually harmful, most cases go undiagnosed by professionals. Nonetheless, there are some signs that can help you determine if you might need to limit your dairy intake.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you might need to cut out lactose.

You experience bloating, gas, stomach pain or diarrhoea after consuming dairy products

The most common symptoms of dairy intolerance include abdominal pain, gas, bloating or diarrhoea, which typically begin 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking foods that contain lactose, according to the Mayo Clinic.

These symptoms occur because the body is unable to fully digest lactose, causing a buildup of gas in the colon, according to research by the Department of Gastroenterology at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

You become constipated after consuming lactose

Eating foods that contain lactose can affect your whole body if you can’t digest it properly.

While experiencing diarrhoea, bloating and gas after eating lactose are the most common symptoms for those who are intolerant, constipation is also a possibility.

A 2006 study in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology found that some people suffered from constipation after consuming lactose because it increased the production of methane gas in their gut and caused food to move more slowly through their digestive system.

Milk pouring milk into cup glassShutterstockYou may need to cut out milk.

Your stomach hurts after eating foods that aren’t dairy

Although abdominal pain as a result of consuming milk and dairy can serve as a clear indicator of possible lactose intolerance, those are not the only food items that can cause issues.

Lactose is used in a wide range of food and drinks that many people might not be aware of.

According to a review in the Postgrad Medical Journal, lactose is often added to processed meats, soft drinks, and lagers and used as a browning agent in bread and cake mixes.

Therefore, just because you didn’t eat drink any milk but you’re experiencing bloating and gas, it may still mean that you are lactose intolerant.

Taking lactase enzymes makes you feel better

If you think you might be lactose intolerant, try taking a digestive enzyme supplement the next time you want to consume dairy. If it helps curb your unpleasant side effects, it could be a pretty indicator that your inclinations are correct.

Lactase, for example, is a digestive enzyme that helps you digest lactose.

“If you don’t have lactase, the undigested lactose goes to the colon, which leads to more fluid entering the colon and more gas produced by bacteria in the colon. That creates bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea,” Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, explained in a newsletter published by the Harvard Medical School published in March 2018.

The over-the-counter digestive enzyme supplements, which will make it easier for your body to digest the lactose, are available in most drug stores.

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