Do you love drinking milk, lattes or having splashes of it in your morning coffee? Do you experience the embarrassing side effects of having dairy? I had my fair share when my bloat goes off in a middle of the quiet moments of an important business meeting.  If you answered yes, then we are only one part closer to today’s topic . Have you experienced any of the following symptoms after having any form of dairy between 30 min to 2 hours:

  • Bloating
  • Pain or cramps in the lower belly
  • Gurgling or rumbling sounds in the lower belly
  • Gas
  • Loose stools or diarrhea. Sometimes the stools are foamy
  • Throwing up

If you answered yes, you might have developed an intolerance to lactose (sugar in dairy). This happens when your digestive system is not able to produce enough lactase (digestive enzyme) needed to break down lactose in the milk and dairy products.

When the small intestines is not able to break down lactose in the milk products, you are left feeling bloated as gas builds up inside and experience the abdominal pains. I know many people that I know have come across to experience these symptoms and it really does put your life on halt when you are trying to have a good time.

We, all consume dairy for different reasons. Some feel strong about building their bones, to avoid osteoporosis and others just can’t live without the taste of it.  Either way we all grew up believing it is good for growth and we need to take it to stay healthy.

So you must be wondering, what should I do if I’m lactose intolerant (or at least you believe you are)?

There are 6 key ways to overcome your intolerance to lactose.

1. Cut down your dairy consumption to a minimum level

This one is a no-brainer. Cutting down your portions such as the Venti Latte from Starbucks to a Tall may not be so harsh-ful when it comes to your body reacting to lactose. It is definitely hard to downgrade sizes especially when it comes to Starbucks lattes but the reward of not going through those serious gas bouts and abdominal pains are so worth it. As your gradually lower your dairy dose you will find your body will react more pleasantly. It’s a mind over matter thing.

Fresh glass of milk…

2. Consider Substituting for Lactaid or “Lactose-Free” milk

In this way you could still be having milk without the sugars that usually comes with the milk. I caution you that it will not taste like unfiltered dairy milk but you have to make a decision if you don’t mind living with the consequences to allowing your body to accept all that gas built up inside you.

3. Opt for Yogurt for less Lactose

Excellent source of probiotics

If you are looking for that calcium, bacterial cultures and other minerals in your dairy products, consider eating yogurts as they generally contain less lactose than most regular milk. The reason why you may get less of a lactose reaction from yogurts is because of the “good bacteria‘ and probiotics in it that have done some of the break-downs and therefore less bloating. Just remember frozen yogurt does not contain active cultures so if you wonder why you are still bloating while having frozen yogurt, now you know! My little tip with making yogurts more favorable is add some fruits, a teaspoon of ground flax-meal and a scoop of vanilla protein shake powder. It turns a plan boring yogurt to  borderline dessert, all without the harsh side-effects. If you do note the symptoms though I urge you to cut down your yogurt dose or stop eating it entirely.

4. Eat more veggies that naturally sourced with calcium

Vegetables have been around as long as man has been on earth. They are here to nourish our nutritional needs and all of us could get some calcium from eating a variety of vegetables.  Unfortunately, the amount we would need to eat would be astronomical given the quality of soil our vegetables grow in are below average. Continue to increase your vegetable intake, especially broccoli, collards, Brussels sprouts and consider supplementing to meet your daily requirement intake. Among the benefits of taking calcium are they contribute to healthier bones, teeth and aid muscles and nerves to function properly. Based on many research studies, calcium is always best when taken along with Vitamin D.

5. Substitute Sherbet for Dairy Ice-Cream

If you are like me and absolutely love dairy ice-cream that’s rich in flavor, sherbets maybe something you want to

consider if you are intolerant to lactose. Its still flavorful and cold! But  if you can’t look past sherbets, look at key # 6.

6. Supplement your diet with Lactase Digesting Enzymes

EZ Gest – Dietary Supplement to Aid Lactose Digestion

This one is definitely an interesting one. If you believe there is a very small chance you will be giving up dairy and if you don’t like the taste of the substitutes suggested above, then consider this important key.  This supplement, called EZ-Gest, is a multi-enzyme formulation offers comprehensive digestive support

  • Supports complete digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Contains enzymes like those found in Lactaid® and Beano®*
  • Alleviates discomfort such as gas and bloating
  • Helps digest “problem foods” including dairy; gas-producing vegetables such as beans and broccoli; proteins; starchy carbohydrates; and fats
  • Plant-based enzymes are derived through natural fermentation and survive stomach acid without synthetic enteric coatings

There you all have it folks. A brief and informative article of the key points you need to know about being lactose intolerant and how to work with it. If you can avoid it altogether, that would eliminate all of the reactions you get from those mentioned above. However, remember to not forget your bone’s worth….supplement your diet with Calcium tablets, especially if you are a woman. The best one I found on the market that I use is CalciumMagplus. It contains the suggested healthy daily recommended dose of Calcium along with Magnesium. Magnesium coupled with Calcium helps with the absorption of both vitamins in the bloodstream and ultimately to bones/teeth.  Their unique propositions include there have been plenty of studies done on themand quality tests done on this calcium supplement

Hope your enjoyed this topic. If you have comments or questions you would like to ask, please contact me. I would love  to hear how your lactose-intolerance journey is going and what has been working for you or your loved ones. If you believe your tips may help others please comment them below and thank you.

Stay blessed,happy and healthy!

 

Coach Hanan Yusuf
Integrated Health,Wellness & Happiness Coach
Enjoy empowering lives and a firm believer in Hope
My store: www.HanansHealthShop.com

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/basics/symptoms/con-20027906
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/lactose-intolerance-symptoms

http://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health-pictures/food-substitutes-for-lactose-intolerance.aspx#07