lactose intolerance

Lactose Intolerance

Here we examine the whole issue of lactose intolerance, what it is, symptoms and the different range of treatments.

If you are struggling with lactose intolerance, you are not alone. This condition is a common digestive ailment. You may be wondering however, What is this ailment and how do I know if I am struggling with lactose intolerance?

In a simple sense, this condition is an inability to digest the sugars that occur naturally in milk. As such, for those struggling with lactose intolerance, foods such as the milk from cows, goats and sheep as well as cheeses, yogurt, chocolate, and butter can be digestively problematic.

What's The Issue?

The sugars in these dairy products are supposed to be broken down by enzymes known as lactase in the digestive tract. Thus those struggling with lactose intolerance tend to have reduced amounts of lactase and as such, the sugars in the milk are not properly digested and so they cannot enter the bloodstream.

These sugars pass into the larger intestine without having been digested, causing negative physical reactions and digestive discomfort. Symptoms generally include abdominal pain, bloating and gas, diarrhea and nausea.

What Is Lactase?

Lactase is produced in the body naturally, however the levels produced decrease as the individual gets older. As such, this health condition tends to appear in adolescence and adulthood rather than in childhood. This is not entirely exclusive as some children are born with this condition, however this is considered to be a rare occurrence.

This condition also tends to affect specific racial groups. In Asia, South America and Africa for instance, many suffer from this health condition. This is related to the traditional diet of these peoples and a genetic digestive inability to process the sugars within dairy products.

Treatment of this condition involves limiting the amount of dairy in ones diet. Medical professionals can offer guidance in this so as to ensure that you maintain a healthy diet and that you receive needed calcium from other sources. In addition to this, can also offer information and consultation services that can help you as you face this health concern.

What is a Lactose Intolerant Diet?

Curious about a suitable Lactose Intolerance diet? If youve been recently diagnosed with an inability to digest the sugars naturally found in dairy products, youll need to gain an understanding of how to alter your eating habits to help you condition.

Making a good Lactose Intolerance diet means that you have to limit or eliminate dairy foods from your daily menu. However, its not as simple as just stopping your dairy intake. Dairy provides important vitamins and minerals without which your health could be jeopardized. An effective Lactose Intolerance Diet involves finding alternative ways to get the important nutrients you would otherwise get from foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt.

So what constitutes a good Lactose Intolerance diet? And what potential problems do you need to look out for?

People with this condition usually find that their inability to digest milk sugars isnt total. For example, there are very few people who could not eat a biscuit that was made with milk. In most cases, its only foods with a high concentration of the sugars.

Foods with a high sugar count that should be avoided include milk, ice cream, soft cheeses and sometimes yoghurts. Foods with lower sugar counts that usually dont cause as much trouble are butter, (in small amounts), hard cheeses like cheddar, and occasionally also yoghurt, because the bacteria found in yoghurt will sometimes pre-digest the sugars. The individual responses to yoghurt varies among sufferers, with some people suffering no symptoms from it, and others unable to eat it at all.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

For many people who are suffering from a suspected digestive disorder, discovering Lactose Intolerance symptoms can mean putting a name to a series of troubling ailments. The sooner you familiarize yourself with Lactose Intolerance symptoms, the better able youll be to get the help you need. So what are the known Lactose Intolerance symptoms that you should be on the lookout for?

One key indicator that you might be suffering from this debilitating illness is an increase in stomach rumbling after eating dairy products. This will generally take about half an hour after consuming foods containing lactose. The stomach rumbling will generally be accompanied by abdominal distension, or bloating. You may feel like your belly and intestines are full of air. This will usually lead to increased flatulence, or wind.

A secondary indicator which will follow on the heels of the stomach rumbling is diarrhea. This occur specifically after eating dairy products, and generally last until they have left your system. If you find that you are suffering from constant diarrhea, or that the incidents of diarrhea seem unrelated to your dairy intake, it might be wise to see your doctor, as diarrhea can be an indicator of a number of illnesses, from minor ones such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to more major concerns.

Lastly, Abdominal colic, or cramping can indicate that you are suffering from a reaction to dairy, as can nausea. If you regularly feel nauseas and suffer from cramping after eating dairy, it might be time to consider a trip to see your GP, who may be able to diagnose you. Why suffer? Your GP can point you towards medications and treatments that will allow you to include dairy in your diet without discomfort.

Any Major Problems?

A danger with this condition is that sufferers wont meet their daily requirements for calcium. The recommended intake of calcium is 800mg/day for men and pre-menopausal women, 1000mg/day for post menopausal women, 1100mg for pregnant women, and 1200 for breastfeeding women.

Fortunately, calcium also be found in dark leafy vegetables, supplements, and special calcium-fortified milk substitutes such as Lactaid or Balance. There are also enzyme drops available on the market, such as Lact-Easy Drops, which can be added to milk or dairy in order to pre-digest the sugars.

Talk to your GP to work out a safe and sensible eating plan that works for you!


Looking for Lactose Intolerance recipes, or trying to make your own from scratch, and not sure how to begin?  You're not alone. Finding great Lactose Intolerance recipes is a major challenge for many sufferers. If you have difficulties digesting the sugars found in milk and dairy products, you are forced to limit or eliminate a great many delicious dairy foods and products. This isnt as simple as switching from milk to orange juice. Dairy products play a larger role in tasty food dishes that we think, from butter flavourings to creamy sauces, to cheese toppings, to fancy puddings. All this elimination can make your diet pretty boring, so tracking down and learning how to make top-notch Lactose Intolerance recipes can make all the difference with regards to quality of life. So what do you need to know to make your own Lactose Intolerance recipes? And where can you look to find ones that are tried and true?

The first thing to know about cooking for people who cant digest dairy sugars is that there are plenty of substitutes on the market that can replace the dairy component in regular recipes.

Margarine can be used instead of butter, and there are plenty of Soya products that mimic dairy products like milk, cream cheese, yoghurt, crme fraise, and even puddings and ice creams. Some products to keep your eye on include Soy Natural, Carnation powdered Soy Milk, and Fruccio Dairy Free Ice cream. Substituting these will make your dishes digestible without sacrificing flavour.

If you're looking for sources of great meal ideas that other people with this condition have already come up with, theres loads of great information at your fingertips through books and on the web.

Websites like,,, and are terrific sources of dairy-free cooking ideas. And books like The Dairy-free Cookbook by Jane Zukin, Dairy-free and Delicious by Brenda Davis, Bryanna Clark Grogan and Joanne Stepaniak, or 101 Fabulous Dairy-free Desserts Everyone Will Love by Annette Pia Hall.

Why miss out on great tastes? Start searching today!


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