When an individual is not able to digest lactose due to inadequate lactase production in the body, the lactose is no more broken down into galactose and glucose, the forms of sugar that are readily absorbed. This results in unabsorbed lactose to pass through the gut that irritates the intestinal lining, causing diarrhea and passing wind.
Lactose is present majorly in breast milk (7%), dairy milk and other dairy forms. Lactose provides 40% of needs of the growing baby by assisting in iron and calcium absorption, ensuring healthy development. Lactose intolerance is more common in Asian and African American children, who start to show symptoms around the age of 3 to 5 years.
Effective Home Remedies To Combat Lactose Intolerance
Most of the times, lactose intolerant people do not have to completely forego dairy products as around 80 percent of the sufferers are known to digest milk even while having intolerance to lactose. This depends on the extent of sensitivity to lactose that varies to large extent in different individuals.
Use Lactase Products
Lactose intolerant persons can make use of lactase products available and sprinkle them over the dairy based products or milk, while continuing using them in daily diet for good nutrition. Lactase products are available in tablet, powder or liquid forms.
The lactase product will act upon the food product and predigest the lactose present in it. This can be achieved only when lactase drops are added to food 24 hours before consuming it, giving sufficient time for the lactase enzyme to act. Alternatively, one can consume lactase tablet soon after ingesting milk or any other dairy product.
Consume Small Servings
At times, people find it difficult to digest large amounts of dairy products but feel absolutely fine having small servings of milk or milk products. Instead of eight ounces of milk, stick to 1/3 of cup in the morning, one third in afternoon and the remaining one third at night to let the milk digest without developing symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Monitor how much of dairy product one can consume without any discomfort and include those amounts in the diet balancing the lactose need and avoiding any troublesome symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Include Whole Milk
For children with lactose intolerance, whole milk should be preferred as fat slowdowns the passage of lactose through the digestive tract, enabling the body to have more time for digestion of lactose.
Replace skimmed milk with whole milk and continue offering milk as vital nutrition, in spite of some level of lactose intolerance. For those with severe lactose intolerance this remedy may not serve beneficial as they need to avoid dairy products completely.
Include Dairy Foods As Part Of Meal
Consume dairy products like cheese, curd or even milk as part of snack or meal and avoid consuming them alone. Eating milk products on empty stomach increases the likelihood of severe symptoms of lactose intolerance, while with other foods the intolerance effect may not appear at all.
Addition of chocolate powder to milk aids in lactose digestion by lowering the rate at which stomach gets empty. The slow rate of stomach emptying leads to less flow of lactose at one instant, resulting in overcoming or reducing its discomforting effects. The calcium in chocolate milk is equally well absorbed as that in plain milk and the taste is yummier.
Include Other Calcium Rich Foods
For those who need to avoid milk but love cheese, should go for hard cheese like cheddar or Swiss that soft cheese forms like cottage cheese, spreadable cheese or cream cheese. The harder the form of cheese, the lesser is the content of lactose in it.
Include salmon, dried apricots, dried beans, nuts, tofu, sardines and dark green leafy vegetables in diet as rich source of calcium instead of milk or milk products.
Yogurt is loaded with active bacterial cultures that serve as an effective calcium source for those with lactose intolerance, in spite of being high in lactose.
Bacterial cultures present in yogurt produce lactase enzymes that are needed for proper digestion. Those who can tolerate yogurt must include it in the diet to fulfill calcium needs, without triggering any symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Avoid Processed Foods
Lactose is commonly used in majority of processed foods and those can be eaten unknowingly causing the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Even cereals, breads, puddings, soups, frozen foods, fast foods and instant mixes contain some amount of lactose in them and therefore, such products should be limited or avoided in individuals with low tolerance levels to avoid symptoms. Always check for ingredient labels to ensure lactose is not consumed in more than tolerated amounts.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.