Home Remedies for Lactose Intolerance

It is a normal digestive problem among all age groups of people. Have you ever noticed that you feel a heaviness inside the stomach after consuming the dairy products such as curd, butter, milk, and whey? This occurs mostly in people who do not walk after meals. It can happen to anyone.

Epidemiology

There are about 65% of people suffer from lactose intolerance. The ratio of lactose intolerance is more in Asia than the other parts of the world.

The prevalence of lactose intolerance is lowest in populations with a long history of dependence on unfermented milk products as an important food source. For example, only about 5 percent of people of Northern European descent are lactose intolerant.

These are obviously very huge numbers. So it is very important to know about lactose intolerance, its symptoms, causes, possible complications, prevention, and home remedies.

So I am going to tell you everything about this problem.

Remember that it is not a disease, disorder, or allergy. It is just an issue.

What is lactose intolerance?

 “It is a common condition in which our digestive system does not digest the dairy products perfectly”

All dairy products have lactose sugar. Some people with a good digestive system easily digest lactose, while people with obesity and insulin instability have difficulty digesting lactose.

It occurs due to the lack of the enzyme called “lactase”. Which present in the small intestine and helps to break down the lactose into Glucose and Galactose.

 Lactose intolerance does not mean that you have an allergy to dairy products.

Types of lactose intolerance

There are four types of lactose intolerance.

  1. Primary lactose intolerance
  2. Secondary lactose intolerance
  3. Developmental lactose intolerance
  4. Congenital lactose intolerance
  1. Primary lactose intolerance

Primary lactose intolerance occurs in aged people. As the number of lactase declines with the passing of an age.

  • Secondary lactose intolerance

Secondary lactose intolerance occurs when our small intestine ruptured from any infection such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or other diseases. This type of lactose intolerance is rare and usually short-lived. It can also result from the inflammation of your gut wall, as this temporarily reduces lactase production.

  • Developmental lactose intolerance

It usually occurs in premature babies, and it also improves over a short period of time.

  • Congenital lactose intolerance

Congenital lactose intolerance is an extremely rare genetic disorder in which little or no lactase is made from birth. If affected infants are not given lactose-free infant formula, they may develop severe dehydration and weight loss. Congenital lactase deficiency is also called “congenital alactasia”.

“The onset of primary lactose intolerance, the most common type, is typically in late childhood or early adulthood, but prevalence increases with age”

Symptoms of lactose intolerance

Commonly, lactose intolerance is for a short period of time, however, if it remains for a long period of time then it can be severe and cause many symptoms. There are the following symptoms that can occur if lactose intolerance occurs for a prolong period of time;-

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Occasional constipation
  • Lower belly pain
  • Constipation
  • Heaviness in the stomach

Difference between dairy allergy and lactose intolerance

These terms may sound similar, but there are some differences between these two.

First, let’s talk about dairy allergy;-

  • It is caused by an allergy to milk proteins – mostly casein.
  • Usually develops in the early stages of one’s life.
  • A result of a malfunctioning immune system that attacks milk proteins.
  • More common in infants and children, but may surface at other ages as well.
  • The most common type of food allergy among children

Now let’s talk about lactose intolerance

  • It is caused by the lack of the lactase enzyme responsible for digesting milk sugar (lactose).
  • It can develop at any stage of your life.
  •  It can also be caused by faulty genes or an infected and damaged small intestine.
  • It occurs naturally with age and is more common in the older lot.
  • More common in certain populations than others.

Causes of lactose intolerance

There are the following factors that are responsible for lactose intolerance.

  • Genetic factors:- Lactose intolerance can be genetic. If someone in your family has lactose intolerance, then it is a chance that you could have too lactose intolerance.
  • Infection in the small intestine:- It can occur due to insufficient levels of lactase in the lining of the duodenum. Lactose, a disaccharide molecule found in milk and dairy products, cannot be directly absorbed through the wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream, so, in the absence of lactase, passes intact into the colon.

Bacteria in the colon can metabolize lactose, and the resulting fermentation produces copious amounts of gas (a mixture of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane) that causes various abdominal symptoms.

The unabsorbed sugars and fermentation products also raise the osmotic pressure of the colon, causing an increased flow of water into the bowels (diarrhea).

  • Inactivity after taking the meal:- Some people don’t walk after taking the meal. Sometimes, that can really worsen the situation and lactose intolerance occurs. The doctor recommended that walk at least 500 meters daily after a meal.

Complications

Milk and other dairy products contain calcium, protein, and vitamins, such as A, B12, and D.

Lactose also helps your body absorb a number of other minerals, such as magnesium and zinc.

These vitamins and minerals are important for the development of strong, healthy bones.

If you are lactose intolerant, getting the right amount of important vitamins and minerals can prove difficult.

This may lead to unhealthy weight loss and put you at increased risk of developing the following conditions;-

Osteopenia:-  It is a condition when you have a very low bone-mineral density; left untreated, it can develop into osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis:- It is a condition, when your bones become thin and weak, and your risk of breaking a bone is increased

Malnutrition:- It is a condition when the food you eat does not give you the nutrients essential for a healthy functioning body; this means wounds can take longer to heal, and you may start to feel tired or depressed.

Tips to reduce the chances of lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is most common in adults, whereas milk allergies are seen mostly in children. Essentially all children who develop a milk allergy develop it in their first year or so, and the vast majority will eventually outgrow it.

 In the end, very few people carry milk allergies with them into late childhood or adulthood.

Fortunately, most people who are lactose deficient don’t have to completely cut dairy foods from their diets. In fact, it’s been estimated that about 80 percent of people with lactose intolerance are still able to drink enough milk for good nutrition.

  • Check the milk percentage:- slows the passage of lactose through your digestive system, giving your body more time to work on digesting it. So if you have trouble tolerating skim milk but don’t want all the fat and calories from whole milk, try drinking one percent or two percent milk instead.
  • Take a small number of dairy products in many steps:- While you may not be able to tolerate an eight-ounce glass of milk all at once, you may have no discomfort from drinking a third of a cup in the morning, a third of a cup in the afternoon, and a third of a cup at night.
  • Always take dairy products with some snacks:- If you eat some cheese or drink a little milk, take it with some snacks or meal. Eating dairy on an empty stomach can worsen your symptoms.
  • Use non-dairy products for calcium supply :- There are some following non-dairy products that can supply a good amount of calcium to human body;
    • Canned salmon or sardines
    • Leafy green veggies such as broccoli 
    • Oranges
    • Almonds
    • Dried beans
    • Tofu
    • Dark chocolate
    • Eggs
    • Soya chunks

Home remedies for lactose intolerance

There are the following home remedies that are proven to be effective in lactose intolerance;-

• Apple cider vinegar:- Apple cider vinegar turns alkaline once it enters your stomach and neutralizes the stomach acids, aiding digestion of dairy sugar. This helps prevent symptoms like gas, bloating, and nausea.

Ways to use apple cider vinegar:-  Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink the mixture.

• Lemon essential oil:- Lemon essential oil aids digestion by neutralizing stomach acids, thereby relieving digestive problems caused by lactose intolerance

Ways to use lemon essential oil:-  Add a drop of lemon essential oil to a glass of cold water. Mix well and drink.

• Peppermint oil:- Peppermint oil soothes your digestive functions. It aids digestion and relieves bloating and gas.

Ways to use peppermint oil:-  Mix a drop of peppermint oil in a glass of water. Drink the concoction.

 Eggs:- Avoiding dairy products can lead to a deficiency of calcium and vitamins D and B12. Consuming eggs daily can compensate for this.

Ways to use eggs:-  Either hard-boil two eggs or cook them in any other preferred way. Consume them.

• Aloe Vera juice:- Aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe your disturbed stomach. Aloe vera also restores your stomach’s pH balance, thanks to its magnesium lactate composition.

Ways to use Aloe Vera juice:-  Consume half a cup of fresh aloe vera juice daily.

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