Can Drinking Lactose-Free Milk Give You Diarrhea?
Lactose-free milk is not likely to cause diarrhea in most people. Lactose is a type of sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products. Some people have a condition called lactose intolerance, which means that their bodies are unable to digest lactose properly. Consuming lactose can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in people with lactose intolerance.
People have different levels of the enzyme lactase, and dairy products contain different levels of lactose, so you may need to consume a little bit. In people who can tolerate dairy, lactase is the enzyme produced by their bodies that is involved in breaking down the lactose in their bloodstream. Lactase is a food additive that may help prevent these symptoms in individuals who have lactose intolerance who consume milk or other dairy products.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance may appear minutes to hours after drinking milk or eating dairy products, and can range from mild to severe depending on how much is consumed and how much is tolerated. You might not feel as bloated when you have lactose intolerance, and can experience stomach pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea within 30 minutes to 2 hours. The symptoms of lactose intolerance — diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, and/or bloating — happen after drinking or eating milk products.
|Symptoms may occur||Within 30 minutes to 2 hours|
|What actual Symptoms are||Diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, and/or bloating|
|Can prevent From these Symptoms||Lactase is a food additive that may help prevent these symptoms|
Both types of intolerance are related to the inability to digest lactose because of lower levels of lactase. Congenital lactase deficiency results in extreme diarrhoea, and these babies can experience extreme dehydration and weight loss without being fed lactose-free infant formula. Without adequate amounts of lactase, an individual may experience digestive problems such as stomach pains and diarrhoea when they eat foods that contain lactose.
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Lactase pills can be taken before eating meals that contain lactose, so that symptoms are unlikely. Eat foods containing lactose either combined with other foods, or spread out throughout the day instead of eating large amounts all at once. Remember to check the labels on foods, as many packaged foods contain added lactose, and it is sometimes difficult to know which ones do. People who experience digestive symptoms after eating small amounts of lactose need to know about many foods that can have even tiny amounts of it.
Some people may have extreme sensitivities to extremely small amounts of foods containing lactose, whereas others can eat a lot of it before noticing symptoms. Not everyone responds in the same way – or for the same length of time – because some people can tolerate larger amounts of lactose than others. How bad your symptoms are will depend on how much lactose you ate, and how much lactase your body makes.
One way to test whether your baby has difficulty digesting lactose is to remove all dairy products from your babys diet for two weeks, then to see whether her symptoms get better. In practice, many doctors will ask patients suspected of having lactose intolerance to avoid milk and dairy products for one or two weeks to see if their symptoms go away, then they will confirm a lactase deficiency diagnosis using the hydrogen breath test. A simple self-test for lactose intolerance is to drink at least two eight-ounce glasses of milk on an empty stomach, and to notice any gut symptoms that develop over the next four hours.
On average, most lactose-intolerant people can tolerate about 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk, says David Goldstein, M.D., a gastroenterologist in Emerson, N.J. Start by trying 1/2 cup or less of ordinary milk at mealtimes. Most people with the condition can tolerate up to 240 milliliters of milk per day, but you will have to figure out your tolerance level. For a trial-and-error approach, try having smaller portions of regular dairy products, replacing them with dairy products that are lactose-free, or having milk and dairy products with meals, as the lactose can be more tolerable if consumed with other foods. You may find out by trial and error which amounts and types of lactose-containing products you can tolerate, or you can use the Lactose-Free Diet to temporarily remove all foods that contain lactose from your normal diet, and then slowly add them back in, finding your level of tolerance and comfort.
If your child has lactose intolerance, they can still have dairy products without lactose, including lactose-free milk, cheese, and yogurt – they are all good sources of calcium. If you have lactose intolerance, be sure you are still getting plenty of calcium through foods such as tofu, leafy green vegetables (spinach is a great option), lactose-free milk, and juices or soymilks that contain added calcium. Taking a lactase enzyme supplement before eating foods that include dairy helps your body digest the lactose sugars in dairy products, so you will not have any pain, cramps, bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
The cells lining the digestive tract produce the enzyme lactase, however, many people do not make enough lactase to properly digest lactose. Without sufficient enzymes, lactose cannot be broken into its smaller units, meaning that the body cannot access these essential sugar molecules. If the body does not have enough lactase, it is impossible for the body to break down the lactose into its smaller components, preventing the body from getting the sugar molecules it needs.
Once lactose is eliminated from a diet, the bodys capacity to make lactase enzymes is reduced, leading to less capacity to digest lactose. In order for our bodies to breakdown lactose and make it easier for us to digest, we must have the lactase enzyme in our small intestines. Normally, lactase turns the sugar from milk (lactose) into two simpler sugars – glucose and galactose – that are absorbed into the bloodstream via the gut lining. LACTAID(r) products contain the enzyme lactase.
If you are Lactase deficient, lactose from food moves to the colon rather than being processed and absorbed. If you have ever had a upset stomach after eating cheese or ice cream, it is possible that you are lactose intolerant. Young children who suffer from acute diarrhea may be temporarily unable to digest lactose, the most common sugar found in milk.
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Lactose intolerance may temporarily arise in children following viral infections (which is why you might be told to avoid milk that has lactose in it when they have a stomach bug), or may occur in conditions that cause intestinal inflammation, like celiac disease. It is possible to suddenly develop lactose intolerance if another health condition – gastroenteritis, for example – or prolonged abstinence from dairy products sets off a physical reaction.
Can I drink lactose-free milk if I’m not lactose intolerant?
In order for lactose to be digested and utilized by the body, lactase enzymes must be broken down into simple sugars. Lactose intolerance patients don’t create enough of these enzymes. Lactase enzymes have been added to Lactaid milk. Even if you are not lactose intolerant, drinking Lactaid milk is safe.
How can you tell the difference between lactose intolerance and IBS?
IBS symptoms can be brought on by a variety of factors, such as certain meals, stress, and anxiety, as opposed to lactose intolerance, which is brought on by consuming dairy products. However, this does not always imply that the person has a lactose intolerance. Dairy can also be a trigger meal for someone with IBS.
What naturally stops diarrhea?
The BRAT diet, probiotics, ORS, zinc, turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg are among the natural remedies that can reduce diarrhoea. Men, women, and children who have the stomach flu often get too sick to move and curl up in bed. Viruses, germs, or dietary allergies are frequently to blame for diarrhoea or loose stools.