Dairy or Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not have enough lactate – the enzyme responsible for breaking down the sugars found in milk. Once these sugars are broken down into a simple form -glucose and galactase- your body absorbs them through the small intestine.
When lactose cannot be properly digested, bacteria in the colon cause the lactose to ferment producing gas. The remaining lactose draws water from the intestine. The results… the unpleasant symptoms of lactose intolerance. If you can relate, you are no doubt lactose intolerant.
A self- diagnosis is simple. Simply avoid all dairy for a few days. After your milk moratorium, consume a few glasses of milk or a bowl of ice-cream and wait to see what happens. If you feel those unpleasant but familiar discomforts in your abdomen, then odds are you’re lactose intolerant.
“So, I am lactose Intolerant, what do I do now?” you ask. Well one option is to avoid dairy all together. I am not suggesting avoidance as an alternative; I am simply saying that some people practice avoidance. I am strongly against this practice and definitely do not recommended it. Dairy is a crucial element to a healthy diet and by avoiding dairy you’re also avoiding calcium, minerals and nutrients your body needs to remain strong and healthy.
Another option is to pre-treat dairy products, that is to say add the enzyme to the milk 24 hours before you consume it. A possible solution which may allow you to consume milk but what about all other dairy products? Well for all other dairy I guess you could take lactase pills. There are pills on the market when taken before you consume dairy is supposed to ease the discomfort of lactose intolerance. These pills provide your intestines with the enzyme needed to break down the sugars found in milk. Although some lactose suffers have found that these pills ease some of the symptoms, the problems with these pills is that you’re forever forgetting the pills and of course the added expense as a bottle will run you around $20 to $25. The pills are a bit chalky but if they keep you off the toilet you may definitely be interested in picking up a bottle of these pills the next time you do groceries. Unfortunately all these products only treat the symptoms and not the problem.
In order to find a long-term solution, the body needs to learn how to properly condition itself to break down those sugars found in dairy. Now unless you have manifested self healing properties you should explore a process by which the enzyme lactase is reintroduced into your body. Currently, there is a product on the market that reconditions your body to accept and then create the enzymes in order for your body to digest those sugars found in dairy. The process takes 38 days. Imagine in just 38 days you may be enjoying all of your favorite dairy products without suffering from those nasty side effects.