Lactose Intolerance and How to Deal with It

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Lactose Intolerance and How to Deal with It
Lactose Intolerance and How to Deal with It

Stomach feels uncomfortable or bloated after consuming milk or dairy products, it could be a sign of lactose intolerance. Although there is no cure, lactose intolerance is harmless and can be treated in several ways

Lactose intolerance occurs because the digestive tract does not produce enough lactase enzyme. This enzyme is needed to process lactose, the sugar found in milk.

Lactose Intolerance and How to Deal with It - Alodokter

Lack of lactase enzyme in the digestive tract can be caused by genetic factors, certain diseases, such as infection or inflammation of the intestines, wounds or scars from surgery in the small intestine, and congenital abnormalities from birth.

The Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Normally, the lactase enzyme will break down lactose in milk into glucose and galactose in the small intestine. The two types of sugar are then absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining.

However, if the small intestine lacks the enzyme lactase, lactose cannot be processed and absorbed. The substance will then continue to move towards the large intestine. In the large intestine, lactose is fermented by bacteria to produce excess acid and gas. This is what causes symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming a drink or food containing milk. Symptoms that can appear include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • stomach bloating
  • Stomach rumbles
  • Breed wind continuously
  • Diarrhea

The severity of the symptoms that appear depends on the amount of lactose consumed. Symptoms may also vary from person to person. Some immediately experience stomach pain or heartburn even though they only drink a little milk. However, there are also those that are fine as long as the amount consumed is not too much.

Tips for Dealing with Lactose Intolerance

If you can't drink milk because you are lactose intolerant, don't worry or worry about calcium deficiency. Your daily calcium needs can be met by relying on calcium-rich foods, such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, pakcoy, spinach, fish, beans, and broccoli.

However, if you want to continue consuming milk and its processed products, there are several steps you can take, including:

  • Try dairy products that you will consume in small amounts first to see how your body reacts
  • Choose products labeled “lactose free” or “less lactose”. Some dairy products, such as yogurt, have low levels of lactose and may still be tolerated by the body
  • Consumption of milk along with other foods to slow down the digestive process of milk and reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance
  • Take a lactase enzyme supplement to help the body digest lactose
  • Consumption of probiotics to help the body digest lactose
  • Record the food and drinks consumed every day to make it easier for you to recognize the limits of consumption of dairy products and the body's response after consuming them

However, if you show symptoms of lactose intolerance after consuming milk or dairy products, you can see a doctor for further consultation.

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