Looking into Lactose.

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Lactose intolerance is much more than just having difficulties with dairy products. To start off with, here are some quick pointers to remember when discussing lactose intolerance. 

  • Lactose intolerance is not an allergy, it is a sensitivity to dairy products
  • Although widely known, it only affects 1 in 10 adults within the US
  • Unlike an allergy, an intolerance does not mean that you are barred from consuming dairy
  • A majority of adults do not actually have the ability to digest milk in its entirety
  • Medications or illnesses such as the flu can stimulate an intolerance
  • The inability to entirely digest lactose is called lactose maldigestion, which in turn gives rise to symptoms of lactose intolerance, but not always the intolerance itself
  • Lactose intolerance has been shown to develop with age as there are more adults than children with the condition
  • Some mild to severe symptoms of lactose intolerance include: abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea.

There are also a broad assortment of strategies that can help you with your intolerances. Here are a few tips and tricks.

  • Slowly build up your intake of milk, starting with a little at each meal until you hit a point where it either causes symptoms or begins to instill tolerance which is possible for a select few
  • Drink and eat lactose-free products, which can be milk without the lactose or simply products that use entirely different products such as almonds or soy
  • Cheeses such as mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar, Colby and Jack all contain lower amounts of lactose so try them out. For another boost, try out Greek yogurt. It is low in lactose and has lots of protein
  • If you are worried about not getting enough calcium, always remember that there are many foods with calcium, but not lactose such as: certain cereals, orange juice and canned salmon

Sources: USDA and the National Dairy Council

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