Our expert says:
Human beings are usually born with adequate supplies of the lactase enzyme which is required to digest lactose (the sugar found in milk), unless they are actually born with lactose intolerance which indicates the absence of this enzyme. The amount of lactase enzyme available to digest lactose tends to decrease in some people as they get older, thus although these people are able to digest lactose at birth and as young children, children and teenagers, at some stage in their lives they can become lactose intolerant. In the absence of the lactase enzyme, this milk sugar tends to ferment in the digestive tract causing bloating, winds, abdominal distention, abdominal pain, loose stools and diarrhoea. Try cutting out all milk and dairy products and products that contain milk pr lactose check on the labels of all processed foods and even some medicines) for about 2 weeks. If you find that the bloating and flatulence improve then you are probably lactose intolerant and will have to avoid all foods that contain milk and lactose. You may still be able to eat yoghurt which contains very little or no lactose because the sugar is fermented during the process used to make yoghurt. Cheese generally also does not contain much lactose and can be eaten unless your are very intolerant. Please make sure that you take a calcium supplement like Caltrate or Calcium Sandoz or MenaCal.7 if you have to cut out all milk and dairy products, as these are the richest source of calcium in our diet.
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