Lactase is an enzyme that helps our bodies break down a sugar in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt called lactose.
Some people are born without the ability to produce lactase. They are called lactose intolerant.
However, many find that as they age, or even on occasion when they are young, the enzyme is missing or inactive. This creates a situation in which dairy isn’t processed or absorbed.
The result is bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and occasional weight gain.
Rather than testing for lactase activity, which is very intricate and expensive, you are best advised to take the easy way and stop eating dairy.
If you feel better, you have hit pay dirt, saved money, and gotten rid of the problem.
You don’t have to give up all dairy forever (or gluten, for that matter) — all you have to do is make the connection between eating foods that cause the so-called IBS symptoms and eliminate them when the symptoms interfere with your life.
Posts by Erika Schwartz, M.D
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