Lactose intolerance is one of the common digestive problems. It is caused by taking milk and other dairy products. The people who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the lactose in the milk because they lack the enzyme lactase which is essential to digest lactose and it can lead to abdominal bloating and diarrhea, etc. Sometimes it can affect quality of life.
Types and causes
- Congenital lactase deficiency is a hereditary condition which results from the mutation of genes. The person is born with this condition where they produce little or no lactase enzyme.
- Familial lactase deficiency is a condition where there is production of enough lactase, but cannot break down the absorbed lactose into the bloodstream.
- Primary lactase deficiency is the most common cause of lactose intolerance. It is a genetically inherited disorder that usually develops before the age of 20 years. Symptoms begin to appear very gradually.
- Secondary lactase deficiency is caused by any disorder in the small intestines resulting in decreased lactase production such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chemotherapy, gastroenteritis, etc.
The severity of symptoms depends on the level of lactose that can be tolerated by a person
- Bloating of abdomen
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Excessive production of gas
- Frequent diarrhea
- Stress and anxiety
- Joint pains
- Headache and nausea
- Poor concentration
- Excessive sweating, etc
The only way for those with lactose intolerance to prevent such symptoms is to reduce or avoid the intake of dairy products from their diet such as cow milk, curd, cheese, yogurt, butter, biscuits, cookies, chocolates, cakes, etc. It is always helpful to check the label of packed foods and snacks for lactose.
- Age: the symptoms of lactose intolerance usually appears in adulthood
- Premature birth: babies born prematurely have reduced levels of the enzyme lactase
- Diseases of the small intestine: can cause lactose intolerance due to bacterial overgrowth.
Management of lactose intolerance
- There are lactose-free milk and milk products available for people with lactose intolerance. It is a better replacement for normal milk.
- Gradually take up lactose-containing foods with regular diet to avoid the symptoms.
- Drink plenty of water and juices that are fortified with minerals and salts for replacing the minerals.
- Eat foods that are rich in calcium, such as broccoli, beans, tofu, or soya milk, hard cheeses, etc.
- Take lots of yogurts as it easier to digest and doesn’t always cause lactose problems.
- To avoid an episode always read the food labels carefully.
Homeopathic medicines for treating lactose intolerance
Homeopathy takes a constitutional approach in treating any problem. In this condition, the homeopathic medicine stimulates the immune system and reduces the defensive reaction against lactose. The effects of these medicines can be seen in the reduction of irritation and inflammation of the intestines, the symptoms, etc. Homeopathic medicines help the lactose intolerant by improving the digestion of milk and help to improve the quality of life by preventing further episodes of bloating and diarrhea. They also improve the absorption of calcium and minerals. They boost up the immune system and also increase the rate of metabolism. They help to improve the absorption of minerals and salts from the ingested food efficiently. Homeopathic biocombinations and biochemic remedies are a great choice for lactose intolerant people for compensating the resulting deficiency in the calcium and minerals. Not only do they act as supplements but also they induce the body for the better absorption of milk and milk products.
Aethusa Cynapium: greenish diarrhea after the intake of dairy products. The children are irritable, anxious and crying. Intake of milk causes green-colored diarrhea which contains undigested particles. The symptoms are accompanied by extreme prostration, abdominal cramps and, tiredness. Constipation and indigestion from taking milk.
Apis Mellifica: it is indicated for allergic reactions from taking milk. Intense itching eruptions with redness and inflamed patches of skin all over the body. Intense itching of the body with difficulty in breathing.
China Officinalis: it is indicated for excessive flatulence, belching and bloating. Inability to digest milk and dairy products with abdominal colic and flatulence of abdomen relieved by bending double and vomiting of food. The tongue is coated white or yellow with indigestion. Difficulty in breathing due to pressure from abdominal flatulence.
Lac Defloratum: it is indicated for nausea, vomiting and, headache after taking milk and other dairy product. Obstinate constipation with large stools. Exhausted from excessive straining for stool.
Magnesium Muriaticum: it is indicated for chronic conditions of lactose intolerance with an inability to digest milk and milk products. Appearance of blisters on lips and tongue after taking milk. The tongue feels burnt and scalded.
Sulphur: it is indicated for diarrhea with sudden urging, has to get out of bed early in the morning. Sour regurgitation, bloating and pain in the abdomen from milk.
Natrum Carbonicum: is indicated for diarrhea after taking milk. Yellow, watery and gushing stool, sour-smelling stool sometimes mixed with blood. Severe urgency to pass stools with abdominal colic and fetid flatus.
Calcarea Carbonica: is indicated for vomiting after taking milk. Nausea, cold sweat, and trembling with distension of abdomen. Vomiting with severe cramps and cutting pain in the abdomen.
Pulsatilla Nigricans: is indicated for allergic reaction after taking milk products. Symptoms of abdominal colic, flatulence, abdominal distension with flatus. Diarrhea with cutting pain and sensation of heaviness in the abdomen.
Some of the homeopathic products to treat the symptoms of lactose intolerance are Schwabe India?s, Alpha-DP, Alpha-Acid, Biocombination No. 03, Biocombination No. 04, Biocombination No. 08, Biocombination No. 25, Colikind, Dizester, Holarrhena antidysenterica 1x, Natrum phosphoricum, etc.