Lactose Intolerance Myths Debunked | Sensitivity Check | Blog

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding lactose intolerance. Some of these false beliefs can cause you to eliminate products in your diet that you could use and get nutritional value from them. Debunking these intolerance myths can help people avoid negative consequences like deficiencies due to false beliefs.

Lactose is the most plentiful carbohydrate in milk. It’s made up of glucose and galactose. Despite the maternal diet, all mammals have mammary glands. Besides providing energy, milk is the only source of dietary galactose, and synthesising macromolecules is necessary.

Milk helps in the absorption and retention of calcium, zinc and magnesium. It’s digested in the small intestines by the enzyme lactase. Lactase deficiency is what causes lactose intolerance all the time. When one ages, they stop producing sufficient lactase, resulting in lactose tolerance.

Lactose intolerance is mostly genetic such that most people who have it also have immediate family members with this intolerance. Even though some people are born with the intolerance, it’s rare since many people develop it as suits. Premature babies can, however, be intolerant because their digestive tracts aren’t fully developed to produce lactase. However, they outgrow this intolerance.

Lactose intolerance mythsLactose Intolerance Myths Debunked

Many myths surround lactose intolerance, considering it’s such a common condition. These include:

Lactose intolerance means you have a milk allergy.

While one can be allergic to milk, lactose and milk intolerances aren‘t the same as a milk allergy. Lactose intolerance is the inability of the body to break down milk sugar, causing gastrointestinal symptoms. On the other hand, milk allergy is an immune system reaction to one protein or more in cows’ milk. Around 2% of children suffer from milk allergy but outgrow it by age five.

Lactose intolerance also causes digestive symptoms like diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and stomach ache. Milk allergy, on the other hand, is an immune system reaction that is widespread in the body and can cause a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis in rare cases. However, lactose and milk intolerance cant accuse severe reactions.

All dairy products contain lactose.

To believe that all dairy products contain lactose would be false. While products like milk have lactose, other byproducts of milk, like aged cheese, butter, cream cheese, and ghee, are either very low in lactose or don’t contain any lactose.

 However, byproducts of milk like yoghurt, ice cream, and cow’s milk have lactose, and these you’ll need to avoid. You can even find lactose-free cheese this daisy in grocery stores if you still want to consume cheese.

Lactose intolerance is prevalent.

Most people who say they’re lactose intolerant are self-diagnosed and unaware of their condition. Thats why we recommend one takes the Ultimate Test, which will help you be sure of your food intolerance instead of guessing. Most people that say they have lactose or milk intolerance are purely self-diagnosed.

Lactose intolerance is permanent.

Lactose intolerance isn’t a permanent condition. Some people, with the help of a doctor, go on elimination for weeks, and then after they realise the intolerance symptoms have cleared, they start reintroducing little bits of milk daily while increasing the amount as the days go. This type of conditioning helps your body develop more tolerance to milk.

You must avoid all dairy products.

While for some people, this is true because lactose causes them symptoms even in small amounts, it’s not a fact for everyone. Depending on your lactose sensitivity levels, you can choose how much lactose you can have in your diet. With the help of your doctor, you can learn how sensitive you are to different forms of dairy so that you know which ones you can still have in your diet.

The prevalence of lactose intolerance is equal among children, adults and all ethnic groups.

Lactose intolerance prevalence varies between different groups. For example, it’s low among young children and individuals of American and northern European descent. It’s, however, higher among ethnic groups like Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native American Indians.

One can rely on the symptoms alone to diagnose

If you have lactose intolerance, getting the Ultimate Test is necessary. With one, you will be sure if it’s a misdiagnosis, which may lead to you not knowing if you have a different gastrointestinal illness that is causing these symptoms.

It’s also wise to note that lactose and milk intolerance symptoms are similar to other food intolerance symptoms. So, if you decide to cut off any food that you think may be causing you symptoms, you may end up with a deficient diet, which isn’t the safest. Other gastrointestinal conditions may be causing lactose intolerance, and you need to be aware of them before adopting a diet change.

Treating underlying conditions that could be causing lactose intolerance can lead to healing, which will cause your body to produce lactase as it did before the condition. Assuming you have the intolerance without a proper diagnosis can lead to unnecessary expenses, nutritional deficiencies and failure to diagnose other gastrointestinal conditions.

Lactose intolerance is not similar to veganism, in that vegans avoid all animal and dairy products due to ethical reasons. Meanwhile, people with the intolerance limit their consumption of dairy products due to difficulty digesting them.

When you’re lactose intolerant, you can choose o consume vegan milk and cheeses, but that doesn’t mean you’re vegan since you can still consume eggs and meat.

Lactose-free milk isn’t cow’s milk

Lactose-free milk is 100% cow’s milk but without lactose. Lactase enzyme is added to regular cow’s milk, breaking down lactose and thus ends up lactose-free. Consuming lactose-free products means you’re getting all you need from milk, like nutrients and vitamins, but without the lactose. This is a win-win situation.

Final thoughts

Lactose intolerance occurs when your body is unable to break down lactose and absorb it into the body. Many myths surround the intolerance; however, most aren’t factual, and you should know the facts. If you think you may be intolerant, you must get our new and upgraded Ultimate Test which will check for lactose intolerance and 975 food and non-food items that could be causing you intolerance symptoms. This recently upgraded ultimate test will test for milk intolerances, and you don’t need to pay extra for it. If you’re lactose intolerant, you need to follow a lactose-free diet.

This article was written by Kate, our Lab Manager

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