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Lactose intolerance. How to treat it?

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Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects the body’s ability to digest lactose – a sugar found in milk and dairy products. People with lactose intolerance have difficulty digesting this component, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms. In this article, we will discuss how to treat lactose intolerance to help people suffering from this condition.

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Causes of lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack or deficiency of lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Without sufficient lactase, lactose passes unchanged through the intestines, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.

Some people are born with a low level of lactase, which means they will have difficulty digesting lactose throughout their lives. Other people develop lactose intolerance later in life, for example as a result of intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease.

How to treat lactose intolerance?

There are three basic ways to treat lactose intolerance: limiting lactose consumption, lactase supplementation, and replacing dairy products with alternative sources of protein and calcium.

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Limiting lactose consumption

One way to treat lactose intolerance is to limit lactose consumption. People who have difficulty digesting lactose should avoid dairy products or limit their consumption to a minimum. Instead of milk, plant-based drinks such as soy, almond, rice or coconut milk can be consumed. People with lactose intolerance should also be careful about food products in which lactose is an added ingredient, such as some types of bread, snacks, and pastries.

Lactase supplementation

The second way to treat lactose intolerance is lactase supplementation. These supplements contain the lactase enzyme, which helps to digest lactose. People with lactose intolerance should take lactase supplements before a meal containing lactose to help digest the sugar. Lactase supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets, or liquids.

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Replacing dairy products with alternative sources of protein and calcium

The third way to treat lactose intolerance is to replace dairy products with alternative sources of protein and calcium. Dairy products are a rich source of protein and calcium, which are important for bone health. People with lactose intolerance should replace dairy products with alternative sources of protein and calcium, such as fish, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, tofu, and soy products.

Other ways to alleviate lactose intolerance symptoms

There are also other ways to alleviate lactose intolerance symptoms. People with lactose intolerance can increase their consumption of probiotic-rich foods such as plain yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, which help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and may reduce lactose intolerance symptoms.

Another way to alleviate lactose intolerance symptoms is to avoid high-fat foods, which can cause increased gas production and worsen lactose intolerance symptoms.

Summary

Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects the body’s ability to digest lactose – a sugar found in milk and dairy products. People with lactose intolerance have difficulty digesting this component, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms.

There are three basic ways to treat lactose intolerance: limiting lactose consumption, lactase supplementation, and replacing dairy products with alternative sources of protein and calcium. People with lactose intolerance should also increase their consumption of probiotic-rich foods and avoid high-fat foods. People with lactose intolerance should consult a doctor or dietitian to develop an individualized treatment plan and avoid protein and calcium deficiencies in their diet. With appropriate treatment and dietary adjustments, people with lactose intolerance can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

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