You do not feel well after eating or drinking? Let's find out if you are lactose intolerant – or just hangover.
tl;dr: If you have eaten dairy products and feel bloated afterwards, we have good news: we can help you.
Complaints After Consuming Dairy Products?
Approximately 36 % of the US population experiences various complaints after consuming milk and dairy products—they are lactose intolerant.
So basically, you're one of 119,484,000 US citizens. Welcome to the community.
Unlike an allergy, food intolerance is not life-threatening (🥳) , but highly uncomfortable for those affected (😕). In some cases, individuals are unaware that they suffer from lactose intolerance. But you're smart and visited this website.
They attribute their symptoms to stress, nervousness, or suspect other foods. Unfortunately, our lactase tablets can't solve ALL of your problems. If you're stressed out, we recommend patting a cow. We love cows. They're so fluffy!
… But let's get back to the topic. In this article, we will address how lactose intolerance manifests.
Symptoms Of Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is the most well-known and common food intolerance worldwide.
The symptoms of this intolerance can manifest in various ways. After consuming milk and lactose-containing foods, lactose intolerant individuals typically experience the first complaints after 15 to 30 minutes, although it can also take up to two hours for symptoms to appear.
Consumption of milk or lactose-containing foods leads to the formation of gases in the intestines, which usually result in the following complaints:
- Bloated stomach, feeling of fullness
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Bowel sounds
Other symptoms that can occur as a result of lactose intolerance include headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and muscle pain.
Looking at one's own dietary history can provide information on whether lactose intolerance is present. For this purpose, those affected should keep a written record of both food intake and digestive symptoms. This can reveal correlations between the consumption of lactose-containing foods and the occurrence of symptoms.
However, since all these symptoms are very nonspecific, they do not necessarily indicate lactose intolerance. Those experiencing the aforementioned symptoms should consult a doctor to determine the underlying cause of their complaints.
Diagnosing Lactose Intolerance: What Would A Doctor Do?
There are various methods for diagnosing lactose intolerance. The most reliable method to detect this intolerance is the hydrogen breath test (H2 breath test).
In this method, the patient consumes a test solution on an empty stomach, consisting of 25g of lactose dissolved in warm water.
Afterwards, the patient blows into a breath-testing device at specific intervals, which measures the hydrogen content in the breath.
In individuals whose bodies are unable to properly metabolize the consumed lactose, intestinal bacteria produce hydrogen. This hydrogen then enters the bloodstream and can be measured in the breath.
Based on the measured hydrogen levels, the attending physician can determine the presence of lactose intolerance.
Diagnosis using this method takes between two and three hours. In addition to the hydrogen breath test, there are other methods for diagnosing lactose intolerance.
Other possibilities for diagnosis include measurement of blood glucose levels, a genetic test, or a small intestine biopsy. However, these methods are less accurate and are only performed under certain circumstances.
Let's Fix It
As you might have figured out by now, lactose intolerance is a problem you can fix. Either by avoiding dairy for eternity – or by taking a lactase tablet before you eat or drink. If the latter sounds more promising to you, we got you covered.
- Di Costanzo M, Berni Canani R - Lactose Intolerance: Common Misunderstandings, Ann Nutr Metab. (2018)
Chris from Lactojoy