How to Treat Lactose Intolerance?

  • October 26, 2023
  • No Comments
How to Treat Lactose Intolerance?

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a prevalent digestive disorder marked by the body's incapacity to fully digest lactose, the sugar present in milk and dairy items. This condition stems from a deficit of lactase, an enzyme generated by the small intestine responsible for breaking down lactose into simpler sugars, facilitating absorption into the bloodstream.

If you encounter discomfort after consuming dairy, it is likely due to lactose intolerance, wherein the digestive system responds adversely to lactose ingestion. While many face challenges in lactose digestion, not everyone displays noticeable symptoms. Thus, if you experience post-dairy discomfort, you may fall under the category of lactose intolerant individuals.

Why Does Lactose Intolerance Occur?

The occurrence of lactose intolerance is rooted in the insufficient production of lactase. There are two primary reasons for this deficiency:

  1. Genetic Factors: Many individuals are genetically predisposed to a gradual reduction in lactase production as they age. In some populations, a decline in lactase production commonly occurs after childhood.
  2. Acquired Lactose Intolerance: Certain medical conditions can lead to acquired lactose intolerance. Conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, or infections can damage the small intestine, impairing lactase production and function.

How to Identify Lactose Intolerance?

Recognizing lactose intolerance involves both understanding common symptoms and undergoing specific diagnostic tests:

  1. Symptoms: Individuals with lactose intolerance commonly experience bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas after consuming dairy products. Recognizing these symptoms is the first step in identifying a potential issue.
  2. Lactose Tolerance Test: A healthcare provider may conduct a lactose tolerance test. In this test, an individual consumes a liquid containing lactose, and their blood glucose level is measured to assess how effectively the body is digesting lactose.
  3. Hydrogen Breath Test: Another diagnostic tool is the hydrogen breath test. After consuming a lactose-rich solution, the amount of hydrogen in the breath is measured. Elevated levels may indicate lactose intolerance.

Treatment Solutions for Lactose Intolerance:

Dietary Changes:

  1. Lactose-Free Diet: A primary approach involves avoiding foods and drinks containing lactose. Fortunately, there is a wide range of lactose-free alternatives, including milk and dairy-free products, available in the market.
  2. Gradual Introduction: Some individuals may find that they can tolerate small amounts of lactose. Gradually introducing dairy into the diet while monitoring symptoms helps determine individual tolerance levels.

Lactase Supplements:

  1. Over-the-Counter Enzymes: Lactase supplements, available over the counter, can be taken before consuming dairy products to aid in the digestion of lactose.
  2. Prescription Strength: In cases where over-the-counter supplements are insufficient, prescription-strength lactase supplements may be recommended for more effective digestion.

Choosing Lactose-Free Alternatives:

  1. Plant-Based Milk: Alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk are excellent lactose-free options.
  2. Non-Dairy Products: Non-dairy alternatives for cheese, yogurt, and ice cream made from soy, almond, or coconut provide tasty substitutes.


  1. Probiotic Supplements: Some studies suggest that probiotics can enhance lactose digestion by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  2. Fermented Foods: Including fermented foods, such as yogurt with live cultures, in the diet can also support digestive health.

Benefit Points of Treating Lactose Intolerance:

  1. Symptom Relief: Effective treatment alleviates the distressing symptoms associated with lactose intolerance, including bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.
  2. Improved Quality of Life: Managing lactose intolerance contributes to an enhanced quality of life by eliminating the inconvenience and discomfort of digestive issues, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities without hindrance.
  3. Nutritional Adequacy: Adopting a lactose-free diet or utilizing substitutes ensures individuals still receive essential nutrients found in dairy, such as calcium and vitamin D, through alternative sources.
  4. Individualized Approach: Treatment solutions for lactose intolerance can be tailored to individual tolerance levels, offering flexibility in dietary choices based on personal comfort and preferences.
  5. Enhanced Digestive Health: Proactively addressing lactose intolerance contributes to overall improved digestive health, reducing the risk of ongoing discomfort and complications associated with incomplete lactose digestion.

Share the post

Comments (0)

    No comments yet

Leave Comment