Unlike an allergy, intolerance is a condition that does not involve the immune system and is caused from not having enough of the enzyme used to break down lactose. The discomfort felt from lactose intolerance will not necessarily happen every time the milk-based food or beverage is consumed. Depending on the level of lactose intolerance you have, you may be able to eat small amounts without a reaction, and even a severe reaction is usually not life-threatening
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Stomach pain
- Gas and bloating
When you are looking at ingredient labels, remember that lactose often goes by other names such as whey and casein. Nutritionists call these “hidden lactose.” You can find a comprehensive list of hidden lactose products with descriptions on the “Milk Allergy Avoidance List” provided by Kids with Food Allergies.
Unfortunately, while there is no cure for lactose intolerance, there are many ways to live with and avoid the discomfort caused from the condition. The following tips from WebMD can help prevent the common symptoms listed above:
- Limit the amount milk products in your diet and only have a little at a time with other non-lactose foods
- Try lactose-free or reduced-lactose products
- Avoid lactose altogether
If you have a reaction to lactose, it is best to see a doctor in order to pinpoint the exact protein or substance that is causing the issue, as well as to make sure it is an intolerance rather than an allergy. When seeing a specialist you can expect a diagnosis based on:
- A detailed history of your symptoms
- A physical exam
- Elimination diets
In addition to the above diagnosis methods, you may even undergo the following procedures in order to receive more accurate results:
- Hydrogen Breath Test: Undigested lactose produces high levels of hydrogen gas in your breath. Doctors can diagnose lactose intolerance by measuring this hydrogen after you drink a lactose-loaded beverage.
- Stool Acidity Test: Undigested lactose also increases the amount of acid in the stool. Doctors may use this test to diagnose lactose intolerance in young children.
- Food Allergy Testing: If your doctor suspects a milk allergy, you may be sent to an allergist for skin testing or have a blood sample drawn for laboratory allergy testing.
Stop living with lactose intolerance. Make an appointment with our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center and put a permanent end to your suffering. When you come in, we’ll sit down and discuss your symptoms before we start a series of diagnostic procedures like those above to figure out whether or not lactose is responsible for your discomfort. Once we get answers, we’ll develop a treatment plan that is right for your specific lifestyle. Today there are so many lactose-free options out there, you won’t even miss it.
No use crying over milk, spilled or otherwise. Call us today at 860-BALLOON and make an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices.
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