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Lactose: intolerance symptoms and diet. Refusal of “milk” – not a cure

The first symptoms of lactose intolerance can occur even in infancy. Some babies cannot process milk properly. Hence the problems: poor weight gain, changes in the regularity and quality of the stool, as well as colic and cramping. Others notice symptoms of lactose intolerance already in adulthood. It is believed that this happens when several factors are affected. With this diagnosis, people still need to consume dairy products. In this case, lactose-free products are ideal.

Lactose is essentially milk sugar. It is considered a carbohydrate of the disaccharide group, consists of residues of glucose and galactose molecules. Lactose is found mainly in dairy products, but can also be in drugs, as a filler. Milk sugar is part of some confectionery. As part of the sweets you can see “artificial sweeteners”, it is possible that it will be lactose. Pay attention to the instructions in small print. Baby formula contains approximately 85% of this element. From lactose, drugs are made to treat intestinal disorders: from constipation to dysbiosis.

If there is “lactate” or “lactic acid” in the composition, then do not worry. They have nothing to do with lactose.

By the way, the ability in adults to break down lactose, we owe it to genetics. Studies show that this gene has mutated from generation to generation. The ability to assimilate milk helped people survive in antiquity.

The effect of lactose on the body

Like any other food item, there are pros and cons.

pros

Galactose (part of lactose) is especially important for the proper functioning of the brain. Therefore, infants need to consume it in sufficient quantities.
The glycemic index of lactose is 2 times lower than that of glucose. Therefore, milk sugar is suitable for diabetics.
It gives a lot of energy. This is a kind of fuel for the body, while the accumulated proteins are not consumed.
Strengthens the immune system and promotes the production of antibodies to fight infections.
Improves intestinal microflora and increases the number of beneficial bacteria.
Prevention of cancer, CVD and cataract diseases.
It has a positive effect on the nervous system.
Improves metabolism and absorption of calcium.
Refers to low-calorie sweeteners.
Improves skin regeneration.
Minuses:

Weight gain. But not for everyone, this is a bad quality of lactose. It can be used correctly if the child or you are underweight.
For people with normal lactose uptake, more cons from consuming an element are not noted.

Lactose intolerance (hypolactasia)

The term “lactose intolerance” means the inability of the body to break down milk sugar. This leads to unpleasant consequences. Lactose intolerance is also called hypolactasia. In some people, it manifests itself more strongly than in others. Some with this diagnosis can safely eat cheese, ice cream or cottage cheese.

The reason for hypolactasia is that there is no lactase in the body, or it is produced in a scanty amount. This is an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down lactose into parts: glucose and galactose. They are then processed in the small intestine. If there is little or no lactase, then milk sugar remains in the intestines. It retains water, leading to diarrhea. When intestinal bacteria come in contact with lactose, the fermentation process begins, which leads to bloating and flatulence.
Allergies to milk and lactose intolerance are different diagnoses. They are united only by the root cause – dairy products. Otherwise, they differ in symptoms and treatment methods. Allergy to milk is expressed in a rash, skin itching, runny nose and tearing begins. These symptoms are a reaction of the immune system. You need to contact an allergist.

Hypolactasia is a fairly common occurrence. Moreover, in some countries its level may be higher than in others. This is due to the history of the country. How many generations have consumed milk before developing the gene responsible for the cleavage enzyme. Where dairy farming has been developed for a long time, the level of hypolactasia is lower. For example, in China, 93% of people cannot absorb milk sugar. Bantu (Africans) – 89%, African Americans – 75%, French – 42%. In Russia, indicators vary by region. According to a number of studies, about 35% of the population in the North of the country suffers from hypolactasia. On the territory of the country is found in 16-18% of the inhabitants.

Lactose Intolerance: Symptoms

You may find lactose intolerance by the following symptoms:

diarrhea;
stomach pains;
nausea;
vomiting (rarely);
flatulence;
bloating.

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