Lactose intolerance is more prevalent than we imagine. Since the quantity of food containing lactose that shows intolerance symptoms differ some cases of lactose intolerance never surface as you are able to consume a certain amount without difficulties.
It is very rare that you will have severe intolerance that you will have to completely give up milk and other lactose containing foods and medicines.
If you have lactose intolerance then relishing a cold glass of milk, a bowl of creamy ice cream or even eating a cheesy pizza can trigger bloating, gas, cramping or rashes. Though all these calcium rich foods are out of range for you, you can still get calcium from many other home remedies without facing any lactose intolerance symptoms.
What happens in Lactose Intolerance?
Your body produces an enzyme called lactase which breakdown lactose in your digestive tract. Lactose is the sugar in dairy products. Some people may not be producing enough lactase to breakdown the lactose consumed through dairy or non dairy products. The symptoms of intolerance appear after 30 minutes of consumption of such food items.
The lactose intolerance appear before the age of 3 and after that it declines. If it doesn't decline steeply with age then it continues in adulthood.
Home Remedies for Lactose Intolerance
There is no doubt that you will have to reduce or readjust the quantity of milk products you can consume. This limitation must be accepted happily to enjoy whatever little quantity of milk products you can consume. Use the following methods to decide your consumption of milk to avoid lactose intolerance.
1. Buy Lactose reduced Products
In the refrigerated section of your supermarket you may find dairy products with reduced lactose content. look at the labels and buy them.
2. Drink Smaller Quantities at a Time
Start with consuming 50 ml of milk at a time and if it doesn't give any lactose intolerance symptoms after 30 minutes then the next day increase the quantity to 100 ml and check for the symptoms. This way increasing about 20 ml every day after day 2 you will be able to know exactly how much milk you can consume at a time without any trouble.
If you are able to consume 100 ml milk at a time without any symptoms of lactose intolerance then consider yourself lucky as you don't have to give up the enjoyment of consuming milk products. You just have to have smaller servings. You can do the same experiment with ice cream, pizza and other milk products to find out your limits.
3. Consume Milk Products with Other Food Items
If you can delay consumption of milk till lunchtime and consume it with food then you can consume more milk without any lactose intolerance symptoms. This is because the digestive system will work on overall food consumption. This practice may appear odd but you will be able to consume required quantity of calcium for normal growth.
Additionally you can take lactase enzyme tablets to compensate for the lower production in your body.
Other Calcium Rich Foods
Reducing dairy product reduces you intake of calcium which is an essential nutrient for your bones and joints growth and development. Therefore you will have to get the required amount of calcium through other sources.
There are a large number of food items that will help you to get sufficient calcium:
Fruits and Vegetables
- Collard greens, frozen
- Kale, frozen
- Broccoli rabe
- Bok Choy, cooked, boiled
- Soybeans, green, boiled
- Broccoli, fresh, cooked
- Figs, dried Oranges
- Salmon, canned with bones
- Sardines, canned with bones
- Shrimp, canned
- Almond milk, rice milk or soy milk, fortified
- Tofu, prepared with calcium
- Orange juice and other fruit juices, fortified
- English muffin, fortified
- Waffle, frozen, fortified
- Cereal, fortified
- Oatmeal, fortified
Other products which can improve digestive health such as Apple Cider Vinegar can increase your tolerance levels of lactose. Drink Apple cider Vinegar daily for a few weeks and then begin to increase your quantity of dairy product consumption to increase your threshold levels.