Lactose intolerance is a common digestive disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body is unable to fully digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. While lactose intolerance is not life-threatening, it can cause discomfort and inconvenience for those who have it. If you suspect you may be lactose intolerant, there are several signs and symptoms to watch out for.
1. Bloating and abdominal pain: One of the most common symptoms of lactose intolerance is bloating and abdominal pain. This occurs when the undigested lactose in the intestine is fermented by bacteria, leading to the production of gas. The excess gas can cause the abdomen to feel swollen and uncomfortable.
2. Diarrhea: Another tell-tale sign of lactose intolerance is diarrhea. When lactose passes undigested into the colon, it draws water into the intestine, resulting in loose, watery stools. Diarrhea can be accompanied by cramps and urgency to have a bowel movement.
3. Nausea and vomiting: Lactose intolerance can also cause nausea and vomiting. The body’s inability to break down lactose properly can lead to an upset stomach and feelings of queasiness. In severe cases, vomiting may occur.
4. Gas and flatulence: Excessive gas and flatulence are common symptoms of lactose intolerance. When lactose is not properly digested, it ferments in the colon, producing gas as a byproduct. This can lead to excessive gas, belching, and flatulence.
Excessive gas and flatulence are common symptoms of lactose intolerance. When lactose is not properly digested, it ferments in the colon, producing gas as a byproduct. This can lead to excessive gas, belching, and flatulence.”>
5. Fatigue and weakness: In some cases, lactose intolerance can cause fatigue and weakness. This may occur due to the body’s inability to absorb certain nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, from dairy products. Over time, a lack of these essential nutrients can lead to fatigue and weakness.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms after consuming milk or dairy products, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help diagnose lactose intolerance and provide guidance on managing the condition through dietary changes and potential lactase supplements.