Lactose intolerance is a very common condition where your body is incapable of breaking down a type of natural sugar called lactose. Lactose is most commonly and widely found in dairy products like milk and yoghurt. People with lactose intolerance won’t be able to digest food items that contain lactose. This is because an enzyme called lactase is responsible for the digestion of lactose and when your small intestine stops producing enough of those enzymes, the person becomes lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is a major problem, especially for infants. Babies depend on breast milk and they need lactase to digest breast milk. Human bodies also tend to produce less and less lactase as they grow older and by adulthood, most human bodies stop producing enough lactase which might lead to several symptoms if they consume dairy daily.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance are usually unharmful but very uncomfortable. The symptoms usually start showing up within a few hours after you have milk, milk products, or other foods that contain lactose. Lactose intolerance usually causes gastrointestinal symptoms and the most common symptoms to look out for are:
- Bloating: Both children and adults experience bloating. This sensation of bloating is caused by an increased amount of water and gas in the gut. Bloating can lead to severe stomach ache too.
- Diarrhoea: Lactose intolerance increases the volume of water in the colon which, in turn, increases the volume and liquid content of the stool. Diarrhoea is usually seen as a common lactose intolerance symptom in babies and young children.
- Constipation: Rarely, people who are lactose intolerant also experience infrequent stools or a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. This is because when the undigested lactose undergoes fermentation by bacteria in the colon, methane gas is also produced. The presence of methane can lead to constipation.
- Nausea followed by vomiting: A nauseous feeling and sometimes vomiting are common symptoms of lactose intolerance too. Just like other symptoms, it also typically occurs between 30 minutes to 2 hours of lactose consumption. Nausea can be a common after-effect of other symptoms caused by lactose intolerance too.
- Cramps and stomach ache: Abdominal cramps and stomach aches are extremely painful and uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance. The pain is usually experienced around the navel and in the lower part of the abdomen.
These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe reaction depending upon the amount of lactose consumed. It can also change from person to person as different people have different levels of tolerance. If you or any of your loved ones are experiencing any of such symptoms, you can immediately seek medical help from experts at SMILES Hospital. We are the best hospital in Bangalore for all types of gastrointestinal diseases. SMILES Gastroenterology Hospitals in Bangalore are known for having highly experienced and dedicated doctors for treatment for constipation, piles, fissures, fistula, pilonidal sinus, colon cancer, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, peri-anal abscess, colon polyp’s, IBS and a lot more digestive disorders.
Don’t let lactose intolerance take away the fun from your life! Book an appointment with SMILES Hospital to get expert advice and treatment on conditions like these!