Lactose Intolerance Background
Lactose Intolerance is a dietary condition which occurs when people cannot metabolize lactose and will thus experience adverse gastrointestinal reactions to the consumption of milk or of some kinds of food with milk based content. That there are some people who are lactose intolerant as adults is believed to be the result of genetic adaptations, which historically arose primarily in the Northern European and East African populations.
Lactose, the trigger substance for a lactose intolerant reaction, is a kind of sugar which appears in milk, among other substances, and cannot be comfortably and consistently absorbed by the human digestive system without the aid of the lactase enzyme, which acts to separate out the sugar into its two components of galactose and glucose. Chromosome 2 must be altered through a mutation if a human is to continue ingesting lactose.
Lactose Intolerance Symptoms
Lactose Intolerance symptoms tend to emerge in the form of various ill-effects as can be experienced in the functioning of the gastrointestinal system, including flatulence, diarrhea, and cramps. In general, the symptoms of lactose intolerance are considered more a source of annoyance than serious physical harm, and moreover can be averted by the behavioral change of eliminating lactose from one’s diet or aiding in its digestion with artificial lactase supplements.
Lactose Intolerance Test
Administering a lactose intolerance test to someone who has developed gastrointestinal symptoms of this kind can help provide a rationale for shifting to the new dietary and general behavioral requirements of a lactose free diet. In particular, the confirmation provided through a lactose intolerance test can demonstrate that no other treatment method is required, as might be the case if some other digestive condition were found to be present and responsible.
Lactose free diet
A lactose free diet is one but not the only way of carrying out an lactose intolerance diet which reduces or eliminates the suffering of adverse digestive side effects as a result of lactose consumption. Companies such as Lactaid specialize in creating products for the lactose intolerant which allow for either option. Products including Lactose free milk such as soy milk and Lactose free cheese can be substituted or supplemented with Lactase supplements.