For many people, ice cream is an absolute favorite dessert. Macaroni and cheese and pizza are go-to quick dinners. And cereal is a given for breakfast. But for many people, these foods can stimulate a terribly uncomfortable gastrointestinal reaction.
When milk products or anything that contains a milk-derived ingredient cause these signs and symptoms, it’s often due to lactose intolerance. Some examples of foods that may cause this reaction in people who are lactose-intolerant include milk, cheese, butter, and many types of chocolate, bread, and salad dressings.
Exactly what foods you react to – as well as how much of a reaction you have – to the lactose sugar varies from person to person. Let’s talk about what you should look for in lactose intolerance and where you can go for a medical evaluation of your gastrointestinal issues.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
If you notice that you have digestive problems whenever you’ve consumed milk or products with any milk-based ingredients, it might be time to consult a gastroenterologist. Some of the most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include the following:
You may experience diarrhea after you eat foods with milk because your body isn’t adequately breaking down your food in your digestive system. Diarrhea stems from the bacteria in your intestines fermenting the sugar into gases and acids – and when your body doesn’t properly absorb the acid, it increases the amount of water your body releases into your colon, which causes diarrhea.
Ultimately, diarrhea happens more in children who are lactose-intolerant than in adults with the condition.
You may have much more gas than usual when you consume foods that contain lactose. The increase in gas stems from the bacteria in your intestines fermenting the food in your digestive tract, which elevates methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. This ultimately makes you feel much more gassy than usual.
Cramping, Stomach Pain, and Bloating
Because of the increase in gas as described above, your stomach can begin to feel pain and pressure. This tends to happen in particular around the lower portion of your stomach and the navel, so you may develop cramping and pain in your upper abdominal area.
You might have bloating because of the gas as well as the increased water production in your intestines.
Nausea and Vomiting
Indigestion and bloating can trigger nausea. Some people who are lactose-intolerant even begin to vomit when they have a severe reaction to the lactose.
Gastroenterology Clinic in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH
Our outstanding medical team here at the North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers understands that lactose intolerance isn’t always as simple as a patient just avoiding milk. In some cases, treatment requires that an experienced gastroenterologist must pinpoint the primary cause of your lactose intolerance.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for relief of your unpleasant digestive symptoms, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (440) 808-1212 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We serve Westlake, Brooklyn, and the Greater Cleveland area, and we look forward to helping you feel much, much better.