Lactose intolerance has become a common disease, even more than the milk industry is prepared to accept. It is not a severe health condition, but its symptoms are quite annoying. And, to cap it all, they can be mistaken with milk allergy and other hypersensitivity reactions.
The root cause of lactose intolerance is that these patients do not synthesize a particular enzyme in our body: lactase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down lactose (an essential component of milk) into two smaller sugar particles, called glucose and galactose. Adults in general have little lactase in our body; thus, we do not adequately process lactose in the small intestine, and this is why it is likely you have experienced one or more symptoms of lactose intolerance at least once, but very mildly.
The signs and symptoms associated with lactose intolerance are as follows:
Statistically, this symptom affects millions of men and women around the world, and it may be explained by many ailments. Lactose intolerance is especially thought in patients 20 years old and over who report a history of eating milk and dairy. Although the primary cause of lactose intolerance is congenital, it can also be acquired throughout a lifetime (secondary) and associated with different intestinal pathologies such as malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, gastroenteritis, or Chron’s disease.
Abdominal pain generally ranges from moderate to intense. This symptom has to do mostly with other gastrointestinal abnormalities, so a proper diagnosis would require the assessment of many other symptoms hereby described, triggered by drinking milk or consuming dairy products.