Lactose intolerance occurs when a person’s body has trouble digesting lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk and other dairy products. The enzyme lactase is required to breakdown and digest lactose. If a person does not make enough lactase enzyme they will have difficulties digesting dairy and other milk products. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can vary greatly and usually occur between 30 minutes and 2 hours after consuming dairy products. Some may experience mild symptoms and others might experience very severe symptoms.
5 Signs of Lactose Intolerance
1. You experience the classic symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting stomach pain or bloating.
2. Nothing else could be causing your symptoms. If you have the stomach flu, for example, and are experiencing nausea and stomach pain it’s unlikely that you are lactose intolerant. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms so it’s important to note when you experience these symptoms.
3. Nausea and/or diarrhea occur right after consuming milk or dairy products. If you are actually lactose intolerant, symptoms will appear shortly after consuming dairy products. If you have symptoms randomly throughout the day or week that do not occur after dairy consumption it’s not likely that lactose is your problem.
4. Your symptoms go away if you do not consume dairy products. If you think you might be lactose intolerant try eliminating lactose-containing foods from your diet. If your symptoms disappear there is a good chance you might be lactose intolerant. Be sure to pay close attention to food labels too. Check your labels to make sure what you are consuming is dairy-free.
5. Your symptoms are better when you take a lactase enzyme. As I mentioned above lactose intolerance is caused by the body not being able to produce enough lactase enzyme to help breakdown the lactose consumed. Lactase enzyme supplements can help your body breakdown lactose and help reduce your symptoms.
If any of these signs apply to you it might be time to talk with your physician. A lactose tolerance test can be performed to see how your body reacts to high levels of lactose and can help determine if you are lactose intolerant.
Are you lactose intolerant? How are you controlling it? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your story!