If you’ve been experiencing the discomfort of persistent intestinal gas, you may have started to research potential causes. Sweeteners, both natural and artificial, are often the culprit. However, what many people don’t realize is that lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is actually a type of sugar.
This means that if even if you have eliminated added sugar from your diet, you may still be experiencing symptoms because of a sensitivity to the sugar in milk. Keep reading to learn whether an intolerance for dairy may be triggering your symptoms of painful gas and bloating.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Typically, symptoms of lactose intolerance or sensitivity will begin 30 minutes to two hours after you consume a dairy product. Mild symptoms include uncomfortable gas and bloating, but can escalate to vomiting and diarrhea. While some people are born with an intolerance, most sufferers develop a sensitivity as an adult. Certain illness such as the flu or cystic fibrosis can trigger temporary and permanent sensitivities. Anyway you look at it, even a ‘mild’ sensitivity can be enough to disrupt your day and cause discomfort.
How Dairy Sensitivity Can Affect Your Health if Ignored
While experiencing some gas and bloating after eating a bowl of ice cream may not seem like a big deal, if you do not address your dairy sensitivity, there can be long term effects. For most people, dairy is a primary source of calcium and the vitamins A, D and K2. Eliminating dairy from your diet may result in a calcium and vitamin deficiency that can cause weak bones. As you age, your bones may be compromised by conditions such as osteoporosis. Consequently, a fall or other trauma may result in serious injury. If you decide to cut back on dairy, you need to make sure that your diet contains other calcium-rich foods (such as plant-based milk) and/or supplements which contain bio-available calcium.
How to Identify a Dairy Sensitivity
Once you make the decision to consult your doctor, you can expect to undergo one of two tests. The first involves drinking a lactose-rich drink and then taking a blood test to identify glucose levels. If you blood sugar levels don’t rise, then your body is clearly having trouble digesting the sugars in lactose. The second test also requires you to drink lactose, but the doctor will measure hydrogen levels in your breath. High hydrogen levels indicate that lactose is not being properly absorbed or digested. Fortunately, both tests are easy and painless.
Suggested Dietary Changes
Completely eliminating dairy can also have a negative effect on gut bacteria levels. Unfortunately, your digestive system will become even more impaired. Viable options include consuming full fat, additive-free yogurts or other sources of milk, such as goat and sheep milk. These alternatives will help you consume necessary nutrients and may even help to recalibrate your body over time so that you will become less sensitive to lactose.
Gas and bloating can be linked to a variety of causes. Every person is different, but with the right plan you can reduce or even eliminate the discomfort so you can once again enjoy meals. Start by removing certain foods from your diet and keeping track of how you feel. Record what you eat and any noticeable differences in how you feel. This may be give your doctor information that will help pinpoint the cause of your discomfort. Incorporating dietary supplements such as CharcoCaps® into your plan can also help.
CharcoCaps® dietary supplement relieves gas and bloating FAST!* Enjoy your favorite foods without worry! *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.