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Lactose intolerance? What does this exactly mean?

Lactose, which is the milk’s sugar, can be essentially found in milk and in dairy products although it is also present, but in a much more minimal quantity, in many sweet products, in some sauces and in a variety of other preparations.

But how does our system handle lactose and what is “Lactose Intolerance”? Well, let us first note that lactose is digested by the body thanks to a digestive enzyme, called lactase, which is normally produced by the intestine and whose role is to break down the lactose (coming from various food intakes) into glucose and galactose in order to facilitate its absorption. However, the body of some people (considered lactose intolerant) no longer produces enough lactase or does not produce it at all. As a consequence, lactose passes directly into the intestine without being digested, and this causes its fermentation which would then be at the origin of various gastrointestinal disorders such as bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, etc. The intensity of such disorders and their length vary according to the sensitivity of each person.

Finally, we must take care not to confuse between Lactose Intolerance and Allergy to Milk Proteins which is far rarer and more serious and can lead to the risk of facing serious complications. Do you think you’re lactose intolerant? Wait then! This cannot be determined by yourself. In such a case, it is essential that you consult your doctor who is the only one apt to confirm or reject such diagnosis and to give you the proper related advice.

About Denise Abou Jamra

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