An estimated 75% of the population struggle with a lactose intolerance. Lactose is the sugar that is found in dairy products and milk and Lactose intolerance is the inability to break down these sugars. The enzyme produced in the small ‘lactase’ is responsible for breaking down lactose in to glucose so that the body can absorb it. It is when the body is unable to produce this enzyme that symptoms arise and intolerances form.
Below are 7 common symptoms of an intolerance to lactose.
- Bloating/swelling in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain/cramping
- Nausea, vomiting
- Headaches or migraines
Annoyingly, just like most digestive intolerances, symptoms can arise anything from 30 mins to 2 days after the intake of lactose, making it hard to identify it as a trigger. We are all unique and the onset of symptoms as well as the severity will differ from person to person.
TIPS TO HELP OVERCOME LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Try fermented dairy and foods
Yogurt or kefir with live active cultures typically do not produce these symptoms, as the active cultures help to break down lactose prior to consumption. Fermented foods are also helpful as the healthy bacteria present survive by feeding off the natural lactose sugars present.
Try a digestive enzyme that contains lactase
We know that in order to break down lactose, the enzyme lactase needs to be present. According to a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, digestive enzyme supplementation can aid in the breakdown of fats, carbs, and proteins, assisting in efficient digestive function.
I take a digestive enzyme at the beginning of each meal, to help support my body in digesting foods and stop them fermenting and sitting in the gut.
Supplement with probiotics
You all know I am the biggest fan of probiotics – Increasing healthy bacteria in your gut may aid lactase production, or at the very least, aid in digestion. Lots of research has shown that adding probiotic supplements and probiotic rich foods to your diet can change the balance in the gut, leading to greater nutrient absorption in general.
Add non dairy- probiotic rich foods into your diet
Kimchi, Sauerkraut and coconut kefir all aid in supporting the overall health of your digestive system easing discomfort from symptoms.
Try adding bone broth to your diet
Bone broth is soup for the soul. Known to be a true healer for the gut bone broth will help your body overcome sensitivities and intolerances. Find out more about bone broth here.