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What is Lactose Deficiency, and How Can You Deal with It?

About

Indigestion caused by lactose (sugar) in dairy products

Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy.[1]

- Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
- Usually self-diagnosable
- Lab tests or imaging rarely required
- Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong

Lactose deficiency is the root cause of lactose intolerance, whereby the body is not able to digest lactose (sugar), that is an evident part of dairy products. As a result, people with this condition cannot eat dairy products, unless they are lactose-free. The enzyme in our body that is responsible for the breaking down of lactose is called lactase. In this case, the lactose travels straight to the colon (large intestine) instead of being broken in the small intestine. This deficiency can also reflect on one’s overall nutritional requirement.

Ages affected: Ages between 14 and 60: most often; 0 and 14: often

Symptoms

Self-diagnosable
Symptoms include bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

People may experience:
Pain areas: In the abdomen
Also common: Gas, nausea, stomach growling, vomiting, fat in stool, and indigestion

Treatment

There is no cure for this condition, but people can curb it from causing further health issues.

Self-care: Avoiding dairy products is not the only solution. Alternative products that are lactose-free can also be consumed. Limiting dairy products, however, can help reduce stomach irritability.

Medication: If you are already taking over-the-counter medicines and complementary medicines that contain lactose, reach out to your doctor to get alternative medicines prescribed.

Specialist: For medical help, consult a physician or a dietician. At mfine, we team up with the finest doctors to help assist you in quality healthcare.

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Dr. Arun Noah

Dr. Arun Noah

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