If lactose intolerance is suspected, see a doctor quickly

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New lactose intolerance test

If you suffer from stomach cramps after eating, this does not always have to be an indication of lactose intolerance. In such cases, experts advise not to swallow medication yourself, but to have the cause clarified by the doctor. A hydrogen breath test could show whether the affected person can tolerate milk sugar.

Tablets only make sense if lactose intolerance is diagnosed. People who suffer from gastric grumbling after eating and who suspect lactose intolerance (lactose intolerance) should have this suspected medically clarified. As Silke Restemeyer of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) said, it is not advisable to swallow pills on your own or to avoid dairy products. Even if the intake of lactose tablets, which take over the splitting of the milk sugar, is not harmful, it only makes sense for people with a diagnosed lactose intolerance. It is also not advisable to avoid dairy products as a precaution. "You shouldn't limit your menu unnecessarily," says Restemeyer. Because this means that the body will lose an important calcium supplier.

Lactose intolerance is nothing unnatural. Lactose intolerance means that milk sugar in the intestine is not broken down properly because the enzyme lactose responsible for it is completely absent or is only present in small quantities. Instead, the lactose is broken down by bacteria, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps. In principle, lactose intolerance is not something unnatural, but very common worldwide. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of Asians are affected. Overall, around 75 percent of the world's population is affected by this special form of food intolerance. In this country, up to 20 percent suffer from it.

Hydrogen Breath Test Shows Lactose Intolerance A doctor can check whether someone is lactose intolerant with a hydrogen breath test, in which patients are supervised to drink milk sugar dissolved in water. If the proportion of hydrogen measured in the breath is too high, this indicates a lactose intolerance. However, those affected do not always have to completely do without milk and milk products. For example, hard cheeses or sliced ​​cheeses could be eaten, because these have matured for a long time and the longer the maturation, the less lactose the cheese contains. The milk sugar is gradually converted into lactic acid as it ripens. According to experts, sour milk products that have not been heat-treated, such as yogurt, kefir and probiotic products, are generally better tolerated. Solid dairy products are usually better tolerated than liquid ones.

Soy or cereal milk as alternatives There are also numerous alternatives to animal milk. For example, many people affected by lactose intolerance use soy milk. This is not only drunk in coffee or pure, but also processed into whipped cream or yoghurt. Other non-animal options are coconut or almond milk, which are primarily used for desserts. Milk is also made from cereals such as oats, rye, rice or spelled. However, experts expressly warn against feeding babies and toddlers with cereal milk because it contains too little calcium, high-quality proteins and certain vitamins. This could lead to deficiency symptoms in children. (sb)

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