I love milk. I love drinking hot and cold milk, on my oatmeal, on my coffee as a creamer, lots of milk on my halo-halo,etc. But thing is after I have my glass of milk, my tummy starts to rumble and grumble. During my younger years (ehem, I am still young), I used to gulp a can of chilled evaporated milk every morning before going to school. But as we add years to our age, I observed that after drinking a glass of milk, I feel abdominal pain, bloated tummy and flatulence.
Milk and milk products are a major source of our calcium needs and other nutrients. We need calcium for our bones to prevent us having osteoporosis, a condition that makes our bones fragile if not prevented. Sometimes, I buy lactose-free milk or Soy milk instead of fresh milk or yogurt drink with lactobacillus. Since I love milk and all that has milk, I surfed the internet for some answers to my questions.
What is Lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is the inability or insufficient ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products.
What causes lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is caused by reduced or absent activity of lactase that prevents the splitting of lactose (lactase deficiency).
Symptoms of lactose intolerance.
People with lactose intolerance may feel uncomfortable 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk and milk products. Symptoms range from mild to severe, based on the amount of lactose consumed and the amount a person can tolerate.
Common symptoms include
- abdominal pain
- abdominal bloating
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?
Two tests are commonly used to measure the digestion of lactose.
Hydrogen Breath Test. The person drinks a lactose-loaded beverage and then the breath is analyzed at regular intervals to measure the amount of hydrogen. Normally, very little hydrogen is detectable in the breath, but undigested lactose produces high levels of hydrogen. Smoking and some foods and medications may affect the accuracy of the results. People should check with their doctor about foods and medications that may interfere with test results.
Stool Acidity Test. The stool acidity test is used for infants and young children to measure the amount of acid in the stool. Undigested lactose creates lactic acid and other fatty acids that can be detected in a stool sample. Glucose may also be present in the stool as a result of undigested lactose.
Because lactose intolerance is uncommon in infants and children younger than 2, a health professional should take special care in determining the cause of a child’s digestive symptoms.
Most food products that I am eating contain a small amount of lactose like bread, pancake, cookies, ice cream (this is not small amount, I can consume a pint of ice cream in one sitting, yum yum), cakes (ehem, no comment), pastries, my beloved breakfast cereal, my coffee creamer, biscuits, sweet rolls, and a lot more.
My doctor had me take Vitamin D and Calcium supplement everyday. But I still love my milk, so I just drink once in a while just to satisfy the craving of drinking milk, after which I pay the price of having a trip to the comfort room every now and then. And the feeling of bloated stomach and flatulence. 😉