Some of you may remember “Blimpy the Lactose Intolerant Cat” who made appearances on the Martin and Molloy radio show (showing my age now!!)… it always used to make me laugh and of course when I realised I was lactose intolerant in my early 20’s “Blimpy” became my new nickname.
In a nutshell lactose is the sugar which is found naturally in dairy foods and requires an enzyme called Lactase to be digested. If you have insufficient lactase in your body then then you will struggle digest lactose which can then result in symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, skin breakouts, sinus issues, congestion or skin flare ups to name a few.
The best way to diagnose lactose intolerance is to remove all foods containing lactose out of the diet (it’s important to read labels because you’ll find somethings contain lactose that you just wouldn’t pick such as processed meats) for 6 weeks. After that time try something with lactose in it and take not of the reactions, often you may find you don’t react immediately but after some time of reintroducing you might notice symptoms returning.
So what can you do about it?
Look at your gut health and get yourself a good quality probiotic and possibly something with Colostrum, especially if you weren’t breast fed. Avoid antibiotics wherever possible, choosing natural remedies instead, antibiotics have a tendency to kill off all the bacteria in your gut, plus pick up a lactase digestive enzyme so if you are exposed to lactose it’ll help your body to deal with it.
If you’re lactose intolerance isn’t too severe then you might also want to try sheep milk or goats milk as they’re lower in lactose and often easier to digest.
There’s also some herbs that can be quite helpful in this situation, Gentian helps with digestion and hydrocholoric acid productions, Pau D’arco which is primarily used to treat Candida, which can be an issue where lactose intolerance is present, and St Mary’s Thistle provides liver support and helps with detoxification processes.
Try some of these options to help yourself and you might find going out to dinner a lot more pleasant.
Until next time, stay calm and stay healthy.