Lactose Intolerance in St. Louis, MO
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What is lactose intolerance?
Being lactose intolerant is extremely common among patients in the United States. Milk sugar (lactose) is the primary carb in milk and other dairy products. The body could be “intolerant” of lactose because it doesn't yield a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase to break up lactose.
An intestinal enzyme, lactase is made in your small intestine that helps the body break down lactose. Lactose intolerance is not a serious condition but it can produce irritating symptoms depending on your body’s degree of intolerance. Some people refer to lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy.
If you require assistance with lactose intolerance in St. Louis, MO, our gastroenterologist providers can lend a hand. Request a consultation at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community and let our knowledge and insight lead you toward a better life.
What is the cause of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a result of your body’s inability to produce, or a shortage in the creation of, lactase. A couple of the major causes why the body is unable to produce a sufficient amount of lactase to help break up lactose are explained below:
Primary Lactose Intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is the most common kind of lactose intolerance and is due to the aging process. As you age, the less lactase your body generates. This kind of lactose intolerance might partially be passed through genetics and some people are at a higher risk of developing it than other people. According to the food intolerance network, milk intolerance affects 5 – 17% of Europeans, approximately 44% of Americans, nearly 50% of Latino/Hispanic individuals, and 60 – 80% of Asians and Africans.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance commonly occurs when the small intestine is damaged because of a sickness, trauma, surgery, or a more severe issue like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. This is because the generation of lactase lessens when the small intestine becomes swollen. Treatment of the condition can return the function of the small intestine and bring lactase back up to its normal level.
To learn more about lactose intolerance, contact a Specialists in Gastroenterology location near you to connect with a gastrointestinal specialist who focuses on the condition. Our staff will provide knowledgeable pointers and details on how to manage lactose intolerance.
What are the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance?
The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance can be different for every individual according to the level of lactase they can generate. A few of the routine symptoms of lactose intolerance that our St. Louis, MO patients may experience include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Occasional constipation
How is lactose intolerance treated?
In most cases, the best solution if you are lactose intolerant is to refrain from consuming dairy products entirely. There is currently no way to boost lactase manufacturing in the body. As a result, the goal of treatment is to avoid encountering the symptoms that may result from consuming lactose. If you treat lactose intolerance as a dairy intolerance allergy, that might help lead you in the choices you make.
Additional treatments and recommendations for living with lactose intolerance that our Specialists in Gastroenterology providers may recommend include:
- Ingest lactose-reduced dairy items
- Add minimal servings of dairy goods into your meals to build tolerance
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Lactase enzyme supplements
Get relief from lactose intolerance
If your lactose intolerance becomes overwhelming, let our well-informed gastrointestinal providers at your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location intervene and help. We can build a treatment protocol to help you reclaim your GI health so that you may continue doing the things you enjoy. To get treatment for lactose intolerance in St. Louis, MO, contact our providers today to request a consultation.
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