Lactose intolerance symptoms | lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance symptoms

Lactose intolerance causes unpleasant digestive problems, including diarrhea, cramps in the intestines, pain and heaviness in the stomach, nausea, headaches. Problems with the digestion of milk after meals like excessive production of gas, cramps, nausea, diarrhea and bloating of the stomach, in many cases indicates a reduced ability to digest milk sugar - lactose. This is not as uncommon, as many as 70% of the world's population has an unpleasant gas after they drink a glass of milk.

Lactose intolerance and milk allergy - DIFFERENCES

Lactose intolerance is caused by a partial or complete lack of the enzyme lactase, responsible for the breakdown of milk sugar, which is secreted by cells of the digestive tract. If there is no enough lactase, undigested lactose reaches the large intestine and begins to ferment, producing acids and gases. For most people after the age there is a reduction in the ability of digestion of milk sugar. Lactose intolerance, which causes reduced ability to digest milk, should be distinguished from allergies to milk and milk products, which occurs in case of disturbances in the immune system.

Lactose intolerance; SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of lactose intolerance such as frequent stomach bloating, diarrhea, cramps in the intestines, stomach and weight in the stomach, nausea and headache, occur in ten to 30 minutes after a milk meal, indicate indigestion of lactose. The easiest way to check if there is lactose intolerance is the exclusion of dairy products from the diet for at least two weeks. If improvement occurs, you can do a test that is the inclusion in the diet a little milk or some cheese, and wait for the reaction.
In this way one can determine the amount of dairy products that should be excluded because it is not always necessary that the lactose in foods is completely eliminated. However, in order to be sure of the diagnosis, consult the special tests that are done immediately after the milk meal, which measures the amount of hydrogen in the exhale or blood glucose levels, while in babies and young children measured is pH of their stool.


The latest and most accurate technique is PCR (genotyping), which determines the innate deficiency of the enzyme lactose, but this diagnostic procedure is not applied routinely in clinical practice.

Lactose intolerance; TYPES
  • Congenital lactose intolerance occurs immediately after birth, and the result is a lack of the enzyme lactase in the small intestine.
  • Acquired lactose intolerance occurs in adolescence and adulthood, when the cells of the digestive tract do not produce enough lactase.
  • Secondary lactose intolerance is the result of temporary lactase deficiency resulting from damage to the mucous membrane of the small intestine, in the case of infections of the digestive tract caused by bacteria and viruses, protein intolerance, celiac disease and chronic inflammation of the intestines.

Lactose free milk

If the lactose is eliminated it is the only way to avoid problems with digestion. In some cases it is not necessary that the products containing milk completely out of the diet, it is sufficient for this type of food to be consumed in moderation. In fact, people who are lactose intolerant can easily digest ten grams of this enzyme, and the unpleasant symptoms of intolerance will arise only when this amount is exceeded. However, if you do not want to give up enjoying dairy products, health food stores and pharmacies can buy enzyme lactase powder, to be taken with dairy products to prevent problems. Also, today in the market there is a cow's milk without lactose, which can also be consumed in an arbitrary amount.


Milk is the largest source of lactose, and fermented milk products contain somewhat smaller amounts of milk sugar. Kefir and yogurt in part have less lactose and helps with digestion, as well as semi-hard and hard cheeses. However, lactose intolerance requires each individual to pay attention to the hidden sources of the substance, such as ice cream, chocolate, some fruit yogurts, and certain types of bread, sweeteners, most drugs and supplements. It is therefore very important that you carefully read the declaration on products you purchase and consume.

Soy, rice, millet, oatmeal, coconut and almond milk

An excellent substitute for milk of animal origin are different vegetable milks which are very simple and can be made at home. Soy, rice, almond, coconut, millet and oat milk is completely safe to consume, because they do not contain no lactose. In the market there are also those which are further enriched with calcium and other minerals and vitamins.

You need:
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 4 cups of plain water
  • 2-3 dates, pitted
  • A pinch of salt

Preparation: Put the almonds in a pan, pour water and leave it to soak in it overnight. The next day, drain them, put in a blender and add two to three dates, a pinch of salt and four cups of water, then mix and strain through cheesecloth. Almond milk is poured into a glass bottle and kept in the fridge, which retains the freshness of three to four days. Ground almonds that remain can be dried and stored for cakes.

CALCIUM FOR THE BONES - Lactose intolerance

It is known that this precious mineral is essential for healthy bones and teeth, and that is very important for the treatment of osteoporosis, and milk and dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. However, many plant foods, including sesame (has six times more calcium than milk), dried figs, chickpeas, almonds, kale, carob, cauliflower and soy, are unjustly neglected as a source of this important nutrient. Also, avoid foods that "steal" calcium, such as soft drinks, sugar, caffeine, industrial food and an excessive amounts of salt.

Lactose intolerance in children

Lactose intolerance occurs immediately after birth in premature children, while the disorder in other children does not usually manifest before age of three. Digestive problems are similar like in adults - diarrhea, abdominal and stomach cramps, constipation, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue. If you suspect that your child suffers from lactose intolerance, dietary him for two weeks discard all milk products, including foods that contain milk, and then gradually introduce them in small quantities. If all the signs indicate that lactose intolerance is there, be sure to take your child to a doctor, who will probably suggest that you do a breath test after a meal with lactose or to do a pH test of stool. When the diagnosis of the disorder is set, young children need to fully exclude from the diet foods that contain lactose, while older children can take it in small quantities, or in combination with other foods, not isolated. Infants and young children instead of cow's milk can consume hypoallergenic formula milk or vegetable milk.

Yogurt for digestion

People with lactose intolerance can freely consume yogurt, which is already partially digested. Bacteria from this potion assume the role of an enzyme that is missing and digest considerable amount of milk sugar. Cultures that turn milk into yogurt devour a greater amount of lactose during fermentation, and when it gets into the intestine, they eat the rest. All that matters is that yogurt contains live bacterial cultures, preferably Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcusthermophilus.


If in a cup of milk add a teaspoon of cocoa which will stop stomach cramps, bloating and other symptoms of lactose intolerance. These are the results of the recent studies, and the reason is that cocoa probably stimulates enzyme activity. However, intolerant person should check how well it can take chocolate milk, so it is best to drink it in small quantities (about half a cup) and wait for two to three days to establish whether the lactose intolerance occurs!