The intolerance to lactose is a condition that occurs in case of lactase deficiency, manifests, i.e., when it fails the enzyme able to break down and digest lactose, the primary sugar found in milk (cow’s milk, goat, donkey as well as breast milk), glucose and galactose. It is not a serious disease, and it is usually enough to avoid the consumption of foods at risk to prevent any symptoms.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance occur with the consumption of this substance and are:
- Abdominal swelling
- Presence of intestinal gas
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Feeling full
- Intestinal gurgling
Enzymatic deficiency at the origin of lactose intolerance can be caused by different causes and at different times of life.
The physiological reduction of lactase efficiency after a childhood in the absence of the genetic mutation that keeps it active (primary hypolathia) is the most common cause (present in at least 60% of the world’s population).
The alteration of the intestinal mucosa for interstitial pathologies (acute enteritis, chronic inflammatory diseases, etc.) may cause, at any age, a transient lactase deficiency, which may be regressed by healing or improving the disease of basis.
The most commonly used and most reliable test is hydrogen and methane gas (gas from the fermentation of Colic Bacteria) that detects increased gas excretion after lactose intake.
In younger children who have difficulty in performing the breath test correctly, the pH of the stools is sometimes measured, which in the case of hypoxia is lower (<5.5) for the presence of acid substances produced by intestinal bacteria.
There are currently no treatments designed to increase lactate production in the body. However, symptoms can be avoided by following some suggestions.
- Do not take large amounts of milk and other dairy products
- Insert small quantities of dairy products in regular meals.
- Drink or eat foods with a low content of lactose.
- Before drinking, add milk to a product that will lower the amount of lactose.