Lactose intolerance is more like a food allergy in which the body is unable to digest any lactose present in food. People suffering from this problem can reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance by minimizing dairy items from their diet. These dairy items are generally consumed by individuals who are looking to add many vitamins and nutrients to their diet.
Foods that Contain Lactose
Natural sugar lactose is a major component of many dairy products. Following are the foods that are rich in lactose and must be avoided by lactose intolerant people.
Many instant breakfast drinks, condensed milk, milkshakes and flavored milk are abundant in lactose. However, there are few such drinks that may contain a lesser amount of lactose and can be absorbed by lactose intolerant people.
Bread and Pasta
Bread, biscuits, pancakes, crackers and other food items that are rich in starch have high amounts of lactose as they use milk and other dairy products as ingredients. Lactose intolerance is a condition faced by people who are low on lactase which is an enzyme that processes lactose. Individuals low on this particular enzyme often witness severe diet-related disorders. Some of the more annoying symptoms of lactose intolerance include gas, diarrhea and nausea.
Sweets which include cakes, frozen yogurt, chocolates, puddings and custards which are prepared by using sweetened condensed milk contain high levels of lactose. Hence, they are to be avoided by people suffering from this condition.
Vegetables, if consumed in their raw state have no lactose content. However, when cooked with some milk and other dairy products such as cheese, these vegetables can get added content of lactose which needs to be eliminated from the diet of lactose intolerant individuals.
The basic ingredient in milk based products is lactose. Food items such as ice cream, cheese, and mayonnaise all contain milk base full of lactose. People suffering from lactose intolerance must keep a check on the amount of these food items that they consume.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Several symptoms of lactose intolerance exist, for example;
- Bloated stomach
- Stomach pains / cramps
The severities of these symptoms are positively correlated to the amount of lactose consumed. However, this minimum trigger amount does vary from person to person. The symptoms tend to appear 30 to 120 minutes after the consumption of lactose based food. People who are comparatively more sensitive to these levels react easily, earlier, and more severely than others.
Concept behind Lactose Intolerance
Lactose a simple sugar that is present in a variety of milk products. It is broken down by an enzyme called lactase, into glucose and galactose. These two simpler forms of lactose can be absorbed with more ease.
People suffering from lactose intolerance are deficient in the supply of this enzyme, and thus, lactose remains within their digestive tract, prone to fermentation by many bacteria. This process of fermentation may cause symptoms to appear.
How to Diagnose?
Usually this condition is diagnosed based on the symptoms. If the individual is relieved from any pain after avoiding/eliminating any dairy product from his/her diet, then he/she is likely to be lactose intolerant. Following are the few ways to diagnose this disorder:
- Milk challenge test: involves an overnight fast where the individual is allowed to drink some milk in the morning with nothing to be eaten for the next few hours. If the individual faces irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion, then s/he is likely diagnosed with lactose intolerance.
- Blood glucose test: a blood test is taken at two intervals of two hours each. The first blood test is taken before the consumption of lactose rich food, and the second is administered after such consumption, in order to check how the body is responding to the increased lactose content.