Wellness Wednesday by Nurse Fiona- Lactose intolerance

 In Health & Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Nutrition

What is Lactose?

Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in animal milks. When ingested, lactose has to be broken down into smaller components before it is absorbed. This can only happen when sufficient lactase is present in the gut.

What is lactase?

Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose into its 2 sugar groups (Glucose and galactose). At birth humans have a high level of lactase, but this enzyme is gradually down depleted after weaning off breast-feeding.  The lack of this enzyme causes lactose intolerance in almost two-thirds of the world’s population.

Are you lactose intolerant?

Did you know over 70% of the population are lactose intolerant? This is because most humans have low levels of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for digesting lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include bloating, burping, gas, nausea, irregular stools, headaches, migraines and acne.

Tips for dealing with lactose intolerance

  1. Eat organic fermented dairy: Fermented dairy contain cultures that can help to break down lactose. Fermented dairy also contains beneficial pre and probiotics that can support your micro-biome. The longer a food is fermented, the less lactose it contains as the probiotics survive by eating the lactose sugar. 
  2. Swap cow milk for goat milk: Goat milk can be easier to digest than cow milk. It contains less lactose and also has a high amount of essential fatty acids. In addition to less lactose, goat milk also contains less casein, which is another protein that can cause sensitivity. 
  3. Take digestive enzymes containing lactase before dairy consumption: This will help aid in digestion of lactose. It will also help digest carbohydrates, fats and protein so these macronutrients can be broken down into micronutrients and absorbed for use in our body.
  4. Eliminate dairy products from your diet: This will certainly help reduce symptoms and allow your digestive tract to heal. Nurse Fiona recommends 6 weeks without diary to help improve digestion. In this time, you can switch to organic nut milk and cheese. Rude Health is a great organic brand that is delicious and contains no additives or preservatives.

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