Whether you enjoy it with cookies or in a smoothie for breakfast, the milk provides calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones, and proteins to build muscles; However, not everyone can drink milk. Some people may feel inflamed when drinking it, and may cause cramping, bloating, or diarrhea. This type of people may suffer from lactose intolerance, and they need to avoid dairy products. Soybean, rice or almond milk can provide an acceptable substitute.
When you are small, your body produces an enzyme, lactase, in the small intestine. Lactase helps your body digest milk sugar, or lactose. It is an important enzyme for children, who concentrate their early nutrition in milk. However, as people grow, some produce less lactase. Without it, your body has greater difficulty digesting lactose, and you may experience stomach and intestinal discomfort, including inflammation.
To whom it affects
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that roughly 30 million adults in the United States suffer from some degree of lactose intolerance. Asians, Native Americans, African Americans and those of Mediterranean descent have a higher incidence of lactose intolerance than other ethnic groups. While most people develop the problem after age 5, some African-Americans begin to have problems digesting dairy products at an early age, at 2 years of age.
If you suffer from lactose intolerance, you may experience inflammation, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping shortly after you have consumed dairy products such as milk and ice cream. The greater the amount of dairy products, the worse the symptoms will be. If you suspect that you suffer from lactose intolerance, suspend the consumption of milk and milk products, and the symptoms will disappear. If these symptoms do not resolve once you have stopped consuming dairy products, consult your doctor, as the inflammation may have another origin.
If you suffer from lactose intolerance, look for products that are free of lactose, or try others that have a low lactose content naturally, such as yogurt, buttermilk and cottage cheese. Some people can tolerate smaller portions of milk at a time, from 2 to 4 ounces. If you decide to substitute dairy products for soy milk or other non-dairy products, or decide to suppress them completely, consult your doctor about the possibility of taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to ensure you adequately cover the daily requirements of these nutrients important