The sugar contained in milk or dairy products is called lactose. Most people have no problem with its digestion, but some are lactose-intolerant. Not being able to digest lactose is a disorder referred to as hypolactasia. In this case, lactose is not converted into glucose, a nutrient necessary for the body. This happens because the body does not produce a particular enzyme, named lactase, essential for the process of metabolizing lactose to glucose.
Do you suffer from lactose intolerance?
The symptoms of lactose intolerance are similar to those of many other digestive disorders so that many people don’t pay attention to them.
If you usually experience cramps in the stomach, abdominal bloating, flatulence, loose stools, abdominal pain, gurgling sounds in the lower belly, nausea, or even vomiting, you should monitor these symptoms. Generally speaking, in the case of this condition, these symptoms appear after 30 minutes after you ate foods which contain lactose.
However, we should not forget that many people consider themselves as being intolerant to lactose because they experience these symptoms from time to time. Still, if you feel sick one time after having an ice cream, or a glass of milk, most probably, you don’t have lactose intolerance. But if you experience the mentioned symptoms or some of them each time you consume lactose products, you may have this condition. So, monitor your symptoms before drawing any conclusions.
Natural ways to heal lactose intolerance
People suffering from this condition should know that lactose intolerance is not entirely treatable. Still, you can improve the disorder significantly by taking into consideration the following tips.
- Modify your diet
One of the safest ways to handle this condition is to pay particular attention to what you eat. Doctors always advise us to see what are the foods that make us feel sick, and avoid them. Stay away from foods containing lactose if you are intolerant to this kind of sugar, and check labels thoroughly before buying a product.
- Don’t eat processed foods
Generally speaking, processed foods are not good for anyone. But, they are even more harmful to those suffering from lactose intolerance. Therefore, stay away from biscuits, cake, doughnuts, cookies, pancakes, etc., because they are rich in lactose and will worsen your symptoms.
- Try buttermilk
An excellent alternative to usual milk products is buttermilk. In some cases, you may still crave for some milk or maybe you cannot exclude it entirely from your diet. In these circumstances, you should try buttermilk. Compared to other similar products, it also contains less fat but is still rich in good bacteria. Of course, you can also consume rice milk or soy milk as alternatives to regular milk. Coconut milk is another great choice for many people suffering from this condition.
- Cocoa powder
Recent studies revealed that cocoa powder can improve the symptoms of lactose intolerance considerably. So next time you crave for a milkshake, opt for a chocolate one. Also, include cocoa in your diet. By doing this, you will also benefit from high amounts of magnesium.