Lactose Intolerance is more common than what you think. It is an issue that bothers so many people all around the world as it affects their quality of life and limits what they can eat.
People that suffer from lactose intolerance encounter mild to moderate digestive problems that make them feel very uncomfortable.
Follow on to know very interesting facts about lactose intolerance!
What Is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a disorder in which get digestive issues, such as gas, diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, etc., whenever you consume milk or dairy products.
In fact, lactose is a kind of sugar that is found in natural milk and dairy products like cheese, yogurt, ice-cream, etc.
When you have lactose intolerance it basically means that your body cannot break down or digest the lactose inside the milk, which is a condition called lactose malabsorption.
However, not everyone with lactose malabsorption is lactose intolerant. You could be having lactose malabsorption and not have any symptoms of lactose intolerance.
So, how long do lactose intolerance symptoms last First of all, they start appearing within 30 minutes to 2 hours after you consume milk. They could last up to 48 hours depending on the level of intolerance you have and the amount of lactose you consumed
Once lactose gets out of your digestive system, symptoms start to disappear.
Facts about Lactose Intolerance
Here are 5 interesting facts about lactose intolerance:
1) It Is a Common Condition
If you have lactose intolerance, you are not alone! It is a very common condition all around the world.
Studies estimate that around 68% to 75% of the world’s population suffer from lactose intolerance.
2) Some Races Are More Likely to Get it Than Others
Lactose intolerance is more common among certain races than others. So, you are more likely to have lactose intolerance if you or a member of your family is related to a race where it is more common.
In the US, the following racial groups have a much higher chance of having lactose intolerance than others:
- Latinos / Hispanic
- American Indians
- African Americans
- Asian Americans
However, people in Europe are less likely to have lactose intolerance. This is due to a certain gene that they carry which allows them to digest and break down lactose.
3) It Is Not an Allergy
A lot of people who have lactose intolerance think that they are dealing with a milk allergy. However, this is not the case.
Milk allergy is another condition that is far more dangerous than lactose intolerance. When you have a milk allergy, your body starts fighting dairy products as if they are foreign invaders.
Symptoms of milk allergy include rash, itchy eyes, wheezing, etc., and they mostly need urgent medical care.
4) You Can Overcome It
You can try to increase your dose of dairy products gradually to increase your intake and tolerance to lactose over time.
There are also a lot of alternatives available, such as soy milk, almond milk, reduced-lactose milk, lactose-free milk, etc.
Over-the-counter lactase tablets or drops are also another way to help you overcome your lactose intolerance and digest dairy products.
5) It Has Complications
Milk and dairy products are some of the main sources of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and more. Your body needs such nutrients constantly to build and grow strong, healthy bones.
However, people with lactose intolerance tend to abandon milk entirely or consume it in very small amounts and forget about their calcium intake.
If you don’t get enough calcium your body will develop a condition called osteoporosis, in which your bones become very weak and easy to break.
So, in case you stopped drinking milk, you should take your calcium and vitamin D from elsewhere. For instance, you can include fortified juices, egg yolks, leafy greens, or other foods that include calcium and vitamin D.
You can also consult your doctor if you can take supplements.
Lactose intolerance can be annoying and uncomfortable. But removing dairy products entirely from your diet means that you will miss out on very essential nutrients. So, make sure that you still get your nutrients from elsewhere.
Keep in mind that most people can still tolerate small amounts of dairy products if they have lactose intolerance. So keep enjoying your dairy products from time to time with caution!