- Lactose intolerance is when the body is unable to break down or digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products.
- People who are lactose intolerant will experience bloating, gas, nausea, and abdominal pain when they consume dairy products.
- The most common cause of lactose intolerance is age. It can also be from a digestive disorder, genetics, or present at birth (particularly in premies).
- Most effective form of treatment for lactose intolerance is to avoid/limit dairy products, take an enzyme pill, and supplement with non-dairy products.
For many people, dairy products like cheese are among their favorite foods to eat. Let’s face it, some of our most desired guilty pleasures come with cheese! There’s pizza, mac n’ cheese, cheese fries, cream cheese, and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, for some people it’s also their greatest enemy — at least when it comes to digestion.
Ever had an uncomfortable rumbling in your stomach shortly after eating dairy? If so, it’s quite possible you are lactose intolerant. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s estimated that 36-percent of Americans and 68-percent of the world population have some degree of lactose intolerance. To get better informed on the topic, here’s a look at everything to know about lactose intolerance, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options…
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is when the body is unable to break down or digest the sugar found in milk and milk products. This sugar is called lactose, says John Hopkins Medicine. It occurs when the small intestine doesn’t produce enough lactase, a digestive enzyme needed to break down the lactose so that the body can absorb it.
“People who are lactose intolerant have unpleasant symptoms after eating or drinking milk or milk products,” writes the source. These symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, and gas.