Notice how, above, I described lactose intolerance as a sensitivity, not an allergy. Which, the organization adds, isn't a huge loss except, of course, if you love the taste of dairy , because milk products don't actually offer any exclusive nutrients you can't get from other foods. Trust me, friends, I sympathize with just how hard it is to internalize this information, especially when, like me, you just cannot imagine a life without cheese or scoops of ice cream piled high on a waffle cone on summer nights. If nothing else, we can at least take comfort in the fact that the majority of us share the same intolerance, right? Just kidding!
Can You Develop Lactose Intolerance?
Can You Become Lactose Intolerant Later in Life? | Everyday Health
Lactose intolerance is defined as the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, causing gastrointestinal disturbances. The National Institutes of Health NIH report that about 65 percent of the global population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Since the United States Department of Agriculture USDA estimates that the average American consumed pounds of dairy products in , with milk accounting for nearly a quarter of that total, that can be some seriously saddening news for many. Gaurav Arora, M.
Can You Become Lactose Intolerant Later in Life?
Lactose intolerance usually begins in kids around age 5; and about 30 million American adults are lactose intolerant by age 20, according to the National Institutes of Health NIH. For most, lactose intolerance is genetic. Foroutan says there are a lot of triggers that can mess up your body's ability to digest lactose, such as:.
The small intestine is a hollow tube that runs from the stomach to the large intestine colon. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the sugar lactose in milk. As a result, they have diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. The condition, which is also called lactose malabsorption, is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable.