Dr. Shalini Kapoor Kad
May 12, 2011
A homoeopathic paediatrician, a counselling expert and a freelance writer are a few words to describe my profession. My sole aim is to put forth practical piece of information that guides every one right in the direction, blending the medicos to a layman with a simple gesture to make the medical things a little less convoluted and comprehendible.
Milk is supposed to be the complete food and hence children are regularly given milk as a nourishing supplement. And even adults and old people continue drinking milk for its various health benefitting qualities. But there are some people who cannot digest milk. This condition is known as lactose intolerance. Lactose is nothing but a variety of sugar which is present in diary products.
Salient features of lactose intolerance
- Sometimes the small intestine in our body fails to make ample amount of enzyme lactase due to which the condition of lactose intolerance appears. Enzymes are known to absorb food and the absence of lactase is termed as lactase deficiency. The body of babies makes these enzymes so that the breast milk and the top feeding too can be digested.
- Many times the premature babies suffer from lactose intolerance. The infants who take full term for taking birth do not show the symptoms of this condition until and unless they reach the age of 3 years.
- It’s not necessary that the condition should start at early childhood. Rather it can start at any age and at any time in life. It even differs depending upon the racial divisions. Like in Caucasians, the children with more than 5 years of age get affected by lactose intolerance while the African Americans show lactose intolerance at the small age of 2 years.
- It is very usual type of deficiency in people from Africa, Native America, Asia or Mediterranean region whereas people belonging to western or northern European territories do not mostly suffer from such intolerance.
- It is also found in many adults and but is not hazardous to health.
- Studies reveal that around 30 millions American adults suffer form lactose intolerance by the age they reach 20 years of age.
Treatment for lactose intolerance
Most of the time, if the milk is removed or decreased from the diet, the symptoms usually goes away slowly. People suffering from low lactase level can take in around 2 to 4 ounces of milk at one time. But if such people drink milk in larger quantities then they have to face the problem of lactose intolerance.
Some of the milk products which can be comparatively easier to digest are:
- Cheese and Buttermilk as these dietary products have low level of lactose content.
- Yoghurt too can be used as a replacement.
- If you are replacing milk of cow with goat's milk especially for giving it to children, make sure that you add amino acids and vitamin supplements to it.
- Children will love this: Milk shakes, Ice cream, or hard cheese is a wonderful replacement.
- Milk or milk products which are free of lactose.
- Some cows are treated nowadays to produce lactase rich milk. You can opt for it as well.
- Soy milk too can be a rich and delicious replacement for young infants.
- Adding lactase enzymes to the milk or taking them in the form of tablet or capsule.