Lactose Intolerance in Utah
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What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a fairly common disorder among individuals living in the United States. Milk sugar (lactose) is the leading carb in milk and other dairy items. A patient whose body is "intolerant" of lactose does not generate a sufficient supply of lactase, an enzyme used by the body to break down lactose during digestion.
Lactase is a digestive enzyme created in the duodenum (small intestine) that helps you digest lactose. Lactose intolerance is a harmless condition but it can produce bothersome symptoms depending on your body's degree of intolerance. Some people reference lactose intolerance as a milk allergy.
If you or a member of your family need assistance with lactose intolerance in Utah, our GI physicians can provide proper care. Request an appointment at Utah Gastroenterology and let our knowledge and expertise guide you on a positive path toward a healthier life.
What is the cause of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance develops as a consequence of the body's difficulty producing lactase to aid in digestion. A couple of the main causes why the body is unable to yield enough lactase to help break up lactose are explained below:
Primary Lactose Intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is the most common form of lactose intolerance and is caused by age. The more you age, the less lactase your body generates. This sort of lactose intolerance could partially be passed through family lines genetically and affects certain people more often than others. According to the food intolerance network, lactose intolerance affects 5 – 17% of Europeans, about 44% of Americans, about 50% of Hispanic/Latino people, and 60 – 80% of Asians and Africans.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance mostly occurs when the small intestine (duodenum) is impaired because of an illness, injury, surgical procedure, or more severe condition like Crohn's disease or Celiac disease. This is due to the production of lactase lessens when the small intestine becomes enlarged. Treatment of the condition might return the function of the duodenum (small intestine) and revive lactase levels to their typical nature.
To learn more about lactose intolerance, contact a Utah Gastroenterology location in your community to connect with a gastrointestinal provider who focuses on the condition. Our GI providers can give professional tips and details on how to best manage lactose intolerance.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance symptoms can vary between patients based on how much lactase their bodies produce. Some of the general symptoms of lactose intolerance are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Occasional constipation
In the event you observe any or all of the specific signs or symptoms mentioned here, our GI doctors in Utah can help to identify a treatment approach that works well for your needs.
How is lactose intolerance treated?
If you are lactose intolerant, the best way to avoid any symptoms is to abstain from eating or drinking dairy products completely. There is currently no possible way to advance lactase output in the body. As a result, the focus of therapy is to refrain from encountering the uneasiness related to consuming lactose. If you treat lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy, that can help direct you in the decisions you make.
Other therapies and solutions for managing lactose intolerance that our Utah gastrointestinal specialists might recommend are:
- Ingest lactose-reduced dairy products
- Lactase enzyme medications
- Include small servings of dairy products into your meals to establish a tolerance
- Probiotics and prebiotics
Alleviate your symptoms with expert care
Lactose intolerance can put a serious damper on your enjoyment of life, but the accomplished GI providers at Utah Gastroenterology are ready to help with reliable solutions. We can establish a treatment program that helps you renew your well-being so that you can keep doing the things you love. To get care for lactose intolerance in Utah, please contact us today to plan an appointment.
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