Lactose intolerance: symptoms and treatment
Lactose intolerance is a violation in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, which is characterized by complete or partial non-perception of lactose. This pathological process is due to the lack of an enzyme, which is responsible for the processing of dairy products — lactase. The first symptoms can be manifested in adolescence and adulthood. It should be noted that lactose intolerance in newborns is extremely rare.
Lactose intolerance can be caused by the following etiological factors:
- genetic predisposition
- celiac disease
- Acute intestinal infections
- allergies to gluten and milk proteins;
- previous gastroenterological pathologies or the presence of such ailments in chronic form
Clinicians note that most often this pathology is due precisely to the genetic predisposition or previous acute infectious processes of the gastrointestinal tract. It should be noted that in a nursing infanticide such a violation can be temporary, since the child’s organism can not yet fully produce lactase.
In this case, the manifestation of the clinical picture and its intensity depends on the degree of lactase production. In most cases, symptoms of lactose intolerance manifest within 30 minutes — 2 hours after eating dairy products.
Signs of lactose intolerance are as follows:
- loose stools
- rumbling and bloating
- overall discomfort
- nausea, often with vomiting,
- pain and cramps (with complete lactose intolerance).
The intensity of manifestation of a clinical picture depends on the degree of lactose intolerance in adults or children. In addition, it should also be understood that such an organism reaction to dairy products can be caused by a poor quality product, incompatibility of products and the like. If this clinical picture shows up every time you consume milk and products with their content, you should consult your doctor for advice.
Lactose intolerance in children may be supplemented by the following symptoms:
- vomiting after eating;
- Impairment of appetite.
As a rule, the symptomatology manifests itself immediately after eating.
First of all, the doctor conducts a physical examination of the patient, with the clarification of complaints, anamnesis of life and medical history. Also, during the initial examination, the doctor should find out how the patient used to eat the last days, whether he took any medications. To establish the exact diagnosis, the following laboratory-instrumental methods of examination are appointed:
- general and biochemical blood test
- blood sugar test
- Stool acidity analysis
- Lactose intolerance analysis
- biopsy of the intestinal mucosa
- lactase testing — lactose is administered orally for determining the pathological process
- Fecal analysis for the amount of fat.
It should be noted that a biopsy with suspicion of lactose intolerance in children is extremely rare. The program of treatment is appointed only after the diagnosis is accurately established and the etiology of the clinical picture is revealed.
Treatment is prescribed only by a doctor after an accurate diagnosis. As such, there is no specific medication. If the patient has a disorder of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, then they can prescribe such drugs:
- to improve gastric motility;
- to stabilize the stool;
- myotropic antispasmodics
It should be understood that with this diagnosis, compliance with dietary rules should not be symptomatic, but permanent. Therefore, the doctor should write a diet, taking into account the individual characteristics of the body and the overall clinical picture.
Some foods contain «latent lactose», their use is also highly undesirable. These products include the following:
- dairy by-products
- Skim milk
- cottage cheese;
- Milk powder
- dairy sausages
- industrial sauces;
Lactose intolerance does not mean that a person is strictly prohibited from eating products with a minimum amount of a given substance. With this disease, you can use the following products:
- yogurt with live bacteria
- Products with lactose content
- soy cheese and milk.
In view of the fact that milk gives the body such an important element as calcium, and its deficiency can have a negative impact on health, the following foods should be included in the diet:
- broccoli and leaf cabbage
- Canned tuna, salmon, sardines
- Soy products
Lactose intolerance in children or adults requires not only proper nutrition, but also the use of certain medications. The doctor can prescribe the following:
- Lactase baby — special capsules that contain the enzyme necessary for processing milk;
- «Linex» or «Hilak-forte» — probiotics for improving the production of lactase;
- «Pancreatin» — as an auxiliary enzyme that improves digestion.
It should be remembered that the dosage and duration of medication is prescribed only by the attending physician. To make any adjustments to the course of treatment at your own discretion is impossible, even with improvement of well-being.
If you follow all the recommendations of a doctor and the rules of diet, then any complications are excluded. Otherwise, the development of gastroenterological pathologies is possible, which will be due to the constant effect on the body of an intolerant substance.
Against this disease there is no specific prevention. However, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of developing such a pathology if timely and correctly treat all acute intestinal infections and eat properly. Also, we should not forget about the systematic passage of preventive examination by medical specialists.