Lactose intolerance is a serious health-related issue. Therefore, one cannot avoid this problem if he or she wants to live a healthy and carefree life. Notably, feeling uncomfortable and having a feeling of air in the stomach can be the initial symptoms of it. This problem can occur among any age group. Special care and precautions are necessary for handling this issue.
What Is Its Meaning?
We can divide the term “Lactose intolerance” into two parts-Lactose and intolerance. Lactose is a kind of sugar that is only present in milk. On the other hand, intolerance means the inability to tolerate something. Lactose is made up of two small molecules of sugar that are glucose and galactose. Lactase enzyme helps in the digestion of these two molecules. With this, it is a situation where a person cannot digest the milk. Hence, deficiency of the lactase enzyme is the basic reason behind this problem of indigestion.
We can classify it into four types: primary, secondary, developmental and congenital.
Primary Lactose Intolerance
This is an age-related problem. The amount of lactase can decrease in a person’s body with age. We decrease our milk intake as we age which gives birth to the absence of lactase enzyme. One’s genetics can also be responsible for it. Parents usually stop feeding their children with breast milk or other milk after they are 2 years older. Hence, it becomes a common reason for this condition in children.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
Notably, one can find this problem in any age group. It can be the result of any health-related condition. Taking certain kinds of medicines can cause serious secondary lactose intolerance. Any surgery related to small- intestine can also give birth to this problem. Gastroenteritis, Celiac disease, Chemotherapy, Crohn’s disease are some of the major reasons behind this condition. Consuming any kind of antibiotics for a long period can also cause this condition.
Developmental Lactose Intolerance
This problem is mainly found in premature babies. They are usually born before the 37th week of pregnancy period. This problem improves as they get older. This is not a serious issue. Moreover, it is temporary, as it improves with time. Because of early birth, their intestine cannot develop properly. Therefore, premature birth is the main reason behind this problem.
Congenital Lactose Intolerance
This condition is not very common. It is congenital because it may be part of one’s family tree. Fault in one’s genetics is the only reason behind this condition. One’s parents can pass their faulty genes to their subsequent generations. However, sometimes this problem can skip a generation. In line with this, the grandparents can transfer this problem directly to their grandchildren without affecting their parents.
Bloating, gas (flatulence), diarrhea, vomiting are some of the common signs of this condition. Other symptoms of it, include pain in muscles and joints, weak concentration and mouth ulcers. It is worth noting that milk allergy and lactose intolerance are different from each other. Milk allergy can be very serious and cause major harm to one’s body. However, it is not a fatal disease but can make a person’s life hard.
Notably, lactose intolerance can be very difficult for one’s life. By taking precautions, one can live a healthy life. Consequently, avoiding milk made items and certain carbohydrates are the most important steps while combating this problem.