The title of this disorder itself tells us what it is all about. It is about persons who are not able to able to ingest any food that contains lactose. Lactose is abundantly found in milk and other dairy products. In fact some medications also contain lactose and it is good to know our body’s response about it. Initially when our body reacts to some food, we cannot pinpoint, as to which is that food that gives us some discomfort beginning with stomach ache, nausea and vomiting. It is only after few experiments that we can confidently deduce that a particular food item is creating a problem.
When we know that we have to cut down on dairy products, the general impression is our body will not get a supply of calcium, which is vital requirement of our system. This is not entirely true, as we can have many other home remedies in the foods which are also rich in calcium.
As part of this study, we shall now see about the options which are available to us.
- The foods that can replace lactose: Broccoli, spinach, rhubarb, canned salmon, soy milk, rice milk, breads and juices and oranges among the fruits. Skim milk, low-fat dairy products are some other options for such patients. Instead of completely avoiding milk products, it might help to slowly introduce them to the diet so that lactose intolerance would gradually be scaled down. Some ready-to-eat foods usually contain lactose, although in small quantities. It would be prudent to verify the labels or enquire to find the percentage of lactose in the food item.
- Some in-take of milk: If the diet contains a small sip of milk, it will normally not upset your system and hence it is a good idea to try it. When milk is ingested along with other food, the digestion process will be slowed down and lactose intolerance will hardly be felt. As a rule, a dairy product alone should never be consumed, so as to avoid the triggering of the intolerance. For those who need to consume milk as a compulsion, it is better to split the required quantity in three doses i.e. morning, afternoon and night.
- Testing with different dairy products: Cheese contains less amount of lactose and is worth trying, as the intolerance symptoms would hardly be experienced. Similarly yogurt is a cultured milk product, wherein the enzyme that gets produced actually breaks down the lactose content considerably and that is so very helpful for such patients.
- Vitamin C: Your doctor can advise you to consume Vitamin C supplement on regular basis. This is required because the body needs it.
- Vitamin D: This is made by our body internally if we get exposed to sun but this does not happen regularly as we may not get that exposure all the time. This is the reason why we need to consume eggs and liver. When a person has lactose intolerance, he can opt for Vitamin D supplement after consulting his doctor.
- Lactose-free products: It would also be worthwhile to explore the availability of lactose free products in your town. If that is not possible you might find products which contain reduced lactose content.
- Lactase-enzyme or drops: Some pharmacies supply lactase-enzyme or drops that can readily enable you to digest dairy products with ease. The tablets can be taken just before meals or as may be prescribed. The drops can be added to the milk at least 24 hours before consuming it. It must be noted that every patient who has lactose intolerance may not be benefitted by using the tablets or drops.
By using the aforesaid methods it would be easy for the patients to fight lactose intolerance.