Studies show that about 65 percent of American adults are lactose intolerant, i.e., developing many uncomfortable GI symptoms while consuming food containing sugar and lactose.
Let’s talk in detail about lactose intolerance and where you can go in Westlake, OH, for overall gastrointestinal care.
Lactose Intolerance Can Be Very Uncomfortable
Lactose intolerance is a chronic digestive condition that occurs when the body lacks or has an insufficient amount of an important enzyme called lactase. This natural body chemical breaks down the sugar contained in milk and other dairy products, such as ice cream and cheese.
Some people have congenital lactose intolerance. These people struggle with various gastrointestinal symptoms. However, most people with this issue develop it over time as middle-aged to older adults.
The symptoms common to lactose intolerance are:
- Gas in the form of burping and flatulence
Symptoms normally begin within half an hour to two hours after consuming lactose-containing food. The amount needed to trigger the symptoms varies from person to person and from food to food.
Lactose Intolerance Can Deprive You of Necessary Nutrients
If you cannot break down the lactose you consume, you likely are not absorbing necessary Vitamin D and calcium, the essential components to bone health and overall metabolic function.
Additionally, copious and frequent diarrhea is associated with this GI condition. While most sufferers recover quickly from their GI upset, some people can feel fatigued and depleted with repeated bouts of gas, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.
You May Not Have Lactose Intolerance
You should get tested if you have symptoms of lactose intolerance so that your gastroenterologist in Westlake, OH, can confirm the diagnosis and set a treatment plan for you. Conversely, the lactose intolerance tests help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, including Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, and allergies to milk and other dairy foods.
Types of Lactose Intolerance Tests
The lactose intolerance tests are simple and accurate. They include:
● The hydrogen breath test, which requires the patient to drink a quantity of lactose and then provide the doctor with breath samples every 20 minutes to be analyzed for hydrogen content
● Lactose blood tests, in which the person consumes lactose and provides blood samples to measure the blood level of this sugar (blood levels will rise with lactose intolerance)
Besides, eliminating all dairy from the diet could an effective approach for this chronic gastrointestinal condition. If symptoms disappear, lactose intolerance likely has been the cause.
Lactose Intolerance Testing in Brooklyn and Westlake, OH
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms and wonder about lactose intolerance, please call North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Center today for a consultation with one of our specialists.
We have two convenient locations in Westlake and in Brooklyn. Phone, or request a visit online.