Have you ever experienced abdominal pain after drinking a glass of milk?
Then, you might suffer of lactose intolerance.
Apparently, this disorder is very common in both Asia and Africa.
People that have been diagnosed with it have trouble into absorbing lactose, the predominant sugar in milk, into their digestive system.
The remaining milk ferments and the result is a severe stomach ache as well as diarrhea.
What causes lactose intolerance?
The compound we all know as lactose is basically a disaccharide, which consists of two sugars that are bound together. Lactose cannot be absorbed unless it is split into two other smaller sugars. But this whole process cannot occur in the absence of lactase, an enzyme that is present in the lining of the small intestine.
Some people simply do not have this enzyme present in the body and this means that the splitting cannot occur.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
If your digestive system lacks lactase, your stomach will start rumbling. You might also experience abdominal colics and nauseas.
What are the typical foods that contain lactose?
Almost all dairy products contain lactose and some of the most common include milk, butter, fermented milk products, youghurt, cheese, milk powder, chocolate, bread and other prepared foods.
Who is at risk of developing lactose intolerance?
Though studies have shown that most adults in northern Europe and North America can tolerate lactose, the majority world’s population cannot absorb lactose. People who have had major bowel or stomach surgery, or suffer from coeliac disease are often lactose intolerant until the underlying condition is treated.
Last but not least, you should note that a lot of people can become lactose intolerant for a few days after they have had diarrhea. This can happen if the lining of the small intestine has been affected by the disease, leading thus to the reducing of the production of lactase.
What are the alternatives?
If your body can’t tolerate lactose, you shouldn’t give up diary product completely. You should just be more picky about your milk and choose camel milk or almond milk which are perfect for lactose intolerant people.
RSS Trackback URL 20. July 2012 (15:07)
Filed under: Nutrition by Edith Moony