Lactose intolerance is the inability by the body to digest lactase the main  sugar found in milk and dairy products .

It should not be  confused with cow milk allergy which is the allergic reaction to any of the  25 molecules which scientists have identified as having the potential to cause an allergic food reaction.

The main culprit in cow milk allergy is casein a milk protein which is also found in soy based products and is used to boost their protein content.

Casein is also found in human milk in small quantities but its quantity is especially high in cow milk.

For anyone who is lactose intolerant the body only has very minimal amounts of lactase an enzyme that breaks down this form of sugar in milk into simpler sugars that can be digested by the body.

This results in large amounts of lactase being present in the intestinal tract and when it travels to the large intestines it ferments  and  causes stomach cramps,gas and diarrhoea.

Lactose intolerance is diagnosed through a breathe test and it is the presence of the higher than average amounts of hydrogen and methane gases that point towards lactose intolerance.

Some good news…..

People living with lactose intolerance can have their dairy products and things like yoghurt and cheese are easier to digest.

It is also very uncommon in children younger than 2 years.

Some people are also able to tolerate milk if taken together with other non dairy products.

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