Is it Lactose Intolerance or IBS?

by on December 27th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Especially around the holidays, we are often exposed to many rich, gourmet foods like imported cheese and delectable seasonal treats such as eggnog. However, for those sensitive to lactose, the enjoyment of eating these dairy foods is quickly replaced by symptoms of digestive discomfort.

Lactose intolerance is a condition commonly experienced by men and women of all ages, caused by the body’s inability to produce enough of the enzyme lactase that aids digestion of lactose, a simple sugar in dairy products.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance commonly include:

Note: Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome can cause similar symptoms. Consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Help for lactose intolerance

Often, restricting dairy and foods containing lactose greatly alleviates symptoms. In addition, many foods that were once off-limits, such as milk, are now available in lactose-free varieties. In addition, if you do not prefer the taste of some lactose-free products (for instance, some may find that milk is not as sweet), other options include soy or rice milk and ice cream.

Still having symptoms?

If you’ve ruled out other health conditions that may be triggering symptoms, it’s possible that you are still eating foods containing ‘hidden’ lactose. For highly sensitive people, some foods such as instant breakfast mixes, nondairy creamers, candy, processed meats and even salad dressings may contain lactose. Be sure to read food product labels carefully.

In addition, try natural support for improved digestive health, such as Filipendula ulmaria, a soothing remedy which helps to protect the digestive tract.

3 Responses to “Is it Lactose Intolerance or IBS?”

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  2. Guy

    Dec 27th, 2010

    good article, but you didn’t write much about treatment of lactose intolerance. you can put a link to site that treat this.

  3. Jordan L.

    Dec 27th, 2010

    I suffer from lactose intolerance, and I think the writer actually did cover the best way to “treat” it – controlling symptoms through diet. I’ve yet to find any known treatment that increases the amount of lactase enzyme the body can actually make.

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