Lactose Intolerance in Kansas City, MO
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What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition that is extremely common among the U.S. population. Lactose (milk sugar) is the primary carbohydrate in milk and other dairy products. The body may be “intolerant” of lactose because it doesn't produce a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose.
Lactase is a digestive enzyme produced in your duodenum (small intestine) that helps break down lactose. Lactose intolerance is a mild condition but it can lead to unwelcome symptoms depending on your body’s degree of intolerance. Some patients refer to lactose intolerance as a milk allergy.
If you or a loved one require treatment for lactose intolerance in Kansas City, MO, our GI physicians can support you with effective lifestyle modifications and treatments. Request an appointment at Digestive Health Specialists and let our experience and expertise guide you toward an improved quality of life.
What is the cause of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is due to the body’s incapacity to generate, or a deficiency in the production of, lactase. Two major reasons your body might not be able to yield enough lactase to assist in breaking down lactose are:
Primary Lactose Intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is the more common form of lactose intolerance and is caused by the aging process. As you age, the less lactase your body generates. This type of lactose intolerance might partially be passed through family lines genetically and impacts certain populations more than others. As reported by the food intolerance network, milk sugar intolerance affects 5 – 17 percent of Europeans, nearly 44 percent of Americans, about 50 percent of Latino/Hispanic people, and 60 – 80 percent of Asians and Africans.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance typically occurs when the small intestine is damaged because of an illness, trauma, surgical procedure, or more severe issues like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. This is because the production of lactase declines when the small intestine (duodenum) is swollen. Treatment of the condition may restore the function of the small intestine and return lactase levels to normal.
For additional information about lactose intolerance, contact a Digestive Health Specialists location near you to connect with a GI specialist who specializes in the condition. Our GI providers will give expert pointers and information on how to live with lactose intolerance.
What are the signs of lactose intolerance?
The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance can be different for every person according to the level of lactase they are able to produce. A few of the usual symptoms of lactose intolerance are:
- Occasional constipation
- Abdominal spasms
In the event you have any or all of the described symptoms above, our gastroenterologist providers in Kansas City, MO can provide assistance and find a therapeutic option that may improve your digestive health.
How is lactose intolerance treated?
In most instances, the ideal thing to do if you happen to be lactose intolerant is to avoid consuming dairy products completely. There is presently no possible way to encourage lactase manufacturing in the body, so the goal of therapy is to avoid the GI irritation that results from ingesting lactose. If you treat lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy, that might help guide you in the decisions you make.
Other treatments and answers for managing lactose intolerance that our Kansas City, MO gastrointestinal providers might recommend are:
- Lactase enzyme medications
- Consuming lactose-reduced dairy products
- Including tiny servings of dairy goods into your meals to build tolerance
- Probiotics and prebiotics
Ease your symptoms with professional care
When your lactose intolerance has become life-altering, let our expert gastrointestinal specialists at Digestive Health Specialists intervene and assist. We can develop a treatment protocol to help restore your quality of life so you can get back to doing the activities you enjoy. To find care for lactose intolerance in Kansas City, MO, contact our providers today to plan a consultation.
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