How To Effectively Treat Lactose Intolerance Symptoms
- The symptoms of lactose intolerance were 70% less severe when lactase enzyme supplements were taken (1).
- Consuming lactase enzyme supplements with a meal rich in lactose reduced the symptoms of lactose intolerance (by 90%) (2).
- Taking lactase enzyme supplements can significantly lessen lactose intolerance symptoms (3).
One of the most prevalent food intolerances in the world is lactose intolerance, which affects approximately 75% of adults globally. Lactose is a natural sugar found in dairy products. People with lactose intolerance can eat their favourite foods without experiencing the unpleasant symptoms related to their condition thanks to the numerous treatments that are available. There are many options that can help treat lactose intolerance and allow people to enjoy a healthy and varied diet, ranging from dietary changes to lactose supplements. The different lactose intolerance treatments that are available, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, will be discussed in this article.
Studies On Treating Lactose Intolerance
Numerous studies have been carried out to identify the most potent therapies currently available in the treatment of lactose intolerance, which has been the subject of research for many years. In one research project from 2015, 500 lactose intolerant individuals were polled about their reactions to various therapies. The survey's findings showed that dietary modifications and the use of lactose supplements were the most successful treatments for lactose intolerance. Probiotics and other therapies were discovered to be marginally less effective.
In a different 2018 study, researchers examined how probiotics affect people who are lactose intolerant. The study's findings demonstrated that probiotics can help lessen lactose intolerance symptoms. The study did discover that probiotics did not have the same long-lasting effects as dietary modifications or lactose supplements.
These studies demonstrate a range of lactose intolerance therapies, with dietary modifications and lactose supplements being the most effective ones. Speak with your physician or dietitian to determine which course of action is best for you. It's critical to keep in mind that each treatment's efficacy varies depending on the patient.
Proven Ways To Treat Lactose Intolerance:
Here are 7 proven ways that may treat lactose intolerance. However, it's important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate approach and to monitor symptoms.
1. Dairy Alternatives
The best way to treat lactose intolerance is through dietary changes because they can lower the amount of lactose in the diet and lessen the symptoms that are brought on by the condition. Changing your diet frequently involves choosing dairy substitutes. For those who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products are typically available in grocery stores. There are also plant-based substitutes for dairy milk, including soy milk, almond milk, and lactose-free milk. The quantity of foods containing lactose should also be considered because eating too much of these foods can exacerbate lactose intolerance symptoms.
Limiting or completely avoiding lactose-containing foods and beverages is one method of treating lactose intolerance. Although it can be found in other foods like baked goods, soups, and salad dressings, lactose is most frequently found in dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream.
Reading food labels and understanding where lactose is hidden in foods is essential for those with lactose intolerance. The amount of lactose in foods and drinks can vary greatly, so it's important to check the ingredient list and nutrition label to determine lactose content. It's also important to note that lactose can be listed under different names on ingredient lists, such as milk sugar or whey.
3. Gradual Exposure
Gradual exposure is a lactose intolerance treatment strategy that gradually increases lactose intake over time to aid in adaptation and improve the body's ability to digest lactose. People who want to be able to tolerate small amounts of lactose-containing foods and beverages or who have a mild lactose intolerance may find this method to be especially helpful.
To use the gradual exposure approach, start by consuming small amounts of lactose-containing foods and drinks, such as a few sips of milk or a small piece of cheese. Over time, gradually increase the amount of lactose consumed each day or week until the desired level of lactose tolerance is achieved.
Giving the body more time to produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, is how the gradual exposure strategy works. The body may produce more lactase and be better able to digest lactose if exposed to lactose on a regular basis. It's important to keep in mind that not everyone will respond well to this method, and some people may require alternative methods of lactose intolerance symptom management.
4. Fermented Dairy Products
Fermented dairy products are a strategy to treat lactose intolerance that involves consuming dairy products that have been fermented by bacteria. Fermentation breaks down some of the lactose in dairy products, making them easier to digest and reducing the likelihood of lactose intolerance symptoms.
Examples of fermented dairy products include yogurt, kefir, and some types of cheese. These products are typically lower in lactose than unfermented dairy products like milk and ice cream. However, it's important to note that not all fermented dairy products are created equal - some products may still contain significant amounts of lactose, so it's important to read labels and check the lactose content before consuming.
When choosing fermented dairy products, it's important to choose products that contain live and active cultures of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can help to improve gut health and may also improve lactose digestion by breaking down lactose in the gut.
5. Lactase Supplements
For those who cannot eliminate dairy from their diet, lactase supplements are an option. They are available over-the-counter and contain the enzyme lactase that helps break down lactose into simple sugars that can be easily absorbed by the body. Taking lactase supplements before consuming lactose-containing foods or drinks can help reduce lactose intolerance symptoms.
6. Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics may also help some people by easing the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Live microorganisms known as probiotics can help to rebalance the bacteria in the digestive system and are present in some foods like yoghurt and kimchi.
Consulting with a healthcare professional can help diagnose lactose intolerance and provide personalized treatment recommendations. In some cases, additional testing may be needed to rule out other digestive disorders. A healthcare professional can also provide guidance on the best treatment options for individual cases of lactose intolerance.
What Helps With Lactose Intolerance Pain?
There are a few treatments that can aid in easing the symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort caused by lactose intolerance. Medications for lactose intolerance pain:
It is possible to reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance by taking supplements of the lactase enzyme, which can help break down lactose in the digestive tract. To relieve the discomfort and pain caused by lactose intolerance, over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used. It's crucial to keep in mind though that these medications shouldn't be used for a prolonged period of time due to the potential side effects.
1. How to get rid of lactose intolerance for good?
Lactose intolerance is a condition that cannot be cured or eliminated entirely. However, there are several strategies that can help manage symptoms and allow individuals with lactose intolerance to continue to enjoy dairy products. To manage lactose intolerance, consider dietary changes, taking lactase enzyme supplements, consuming fermented dairy products, gradually introducing lactose-containing foods, and choosing lactose-free dairy products. While these strategies can help manage symptoms, lactose intolerance cannot be cured. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.
2. What helps with lactose intolerance with constipation?
To manage lactose intolerance with constipation, consider increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, consuming probiotics, taking lactase enzyme supplements, and engaging in regular exercise. It's important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for managing lactose intolerance with constipation, as additional medical interventions may be necessary to address underlying digestive or other health issues.
Lactose intolerance is a common condition that can have a significant impact on quality of life. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance, including dietary changes and the use of lactose supplements. Additionally, taking over-the-counter pain medications and avoiding foods that are high in lactose can help to reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance. It is important to speak to your doctor or dietitian before beginning any treatment for lactose intolerance, as the effectiveness of each treatment can vary from person to person. With the right treatment plan, people with lactose intolerance can enjoy a healthy and varied diet without suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms associated with their condition.
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- Suchy, F. J., Brannon, P. M., Carpenter, T. O., Fernandez, J. R., Gilsanz, V., Gould, J. B., ... & Weaver, C. M. (2010). National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference: lactose intolerance and health. Annals of internal medicine, 152(12), 792-796. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166779/
- Szilagyi, A., Ishayek, N., & Lactase Persistence Collaborative Group. (2017). Lactose intolerance, dairy avoidance, and treatment options. Nutrients, 9(7), 731. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070731
- Suarez, F. L., Savaiano, D. A., & Levitt, M. D. (1995). A comparison of symptoms after the consumption of milk or lactose-hydrolyzed milk by people with self-reported severe lactose intolerance. New England Journal of Medicine, 333(1), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199507063330101