Lactose Intolerance in Phoenix, AZ
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What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a very common condition among patients in the United States. Lactose (milk sugar) is the leading carb in milk and other dairy goods. Your body could be “intolerant” of lactose because it does not produce a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase needed to break down lactose.
Lactase is a digestive enzyme produced in the small intestine (duodenum) that helps digest lactose. Lactose intolerance is a non-threatening condition but it can produce uncomfortable symptoms depending on your body’s degree of intolerance. Some patients reference lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy.
If you or a family member require help with lactose intolerance in Phoenix, AZ, our gastroenterologist specialists can provide proper care. Request a consultation at Arizona Digestive Health and let our knowledge and insight lead you in a positive direction toward an improved quality of life.
What causes lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a result of your body’s inability to make, or a deficiency in the creation of, lactase. A couple of reasons why the body is not able to generate enough lactase to help process lactose are explained below:
Primary Lactose Intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is the most common variation of lactose intolerance and is a result of age. As you age, your body generates less lactase. This sort of lactose intolerance could partially be passed through hereditary factors and develops in certain people more often than other people. Per the food intolerance network, lactose intolerance occurs in 5 – 17% of Europeans, roughly 44% of Americans, around 50% of Hispanic/Latino people, and 60 – 80% of Africans and Asians.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance usually occurs when the small intestine (duodenum) is impaired due to a sickness, injury, surgery, or more severe problem like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. This is because the generation of lactase lessens when the small intestine becomes enlarged. Treatment of the disorder can revive the function of the duodenum and return lactase amounts to their normal levels.
To request more information about lactose intolerance, contact an Arizona Digestive Health location in your community to connect with a gastrointestinal specialist. Our providers will provide expert advice and information on how to best treat lactose intolerance.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
The symptoms of lactose intolerance can differ for each individual depending on the level of lactase they produce. Some of the standard symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Occasional constipation
- Abdominal discomfort
If you are experiencing any of the described symptoms above, our GI providers in Phoenix, AZ can provide assistance and determine a treatment approach that works the best for your GI health.
What treatments are available for lactose intolerance?
In most cases, the best thing to do if you are lactose intolerant is to avoid consuming dairy products entirely. There is presently no way to increase lactase production in the body. As a result, the goal of treatment is to manage the symptoms associated with ingesting lactose. If you address lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy, that can help guide your dietary decisions.
Other solutions and answers for managing lactose intolerance that our Phoenix, AZ GI providers may recommend are:
- Lactase enzyme supplements
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Consume lactose-reduced dairy products
- Include tiny servings of dairy goods into your meals to build tolerance
Ease your lactose intolerance symptoms
If your lactose intolerance becomes overpowering, let our well-informed GI providers at Arizona Digestive Health help. We can build a treatment schedule to help you reclaim your quality of life so that you can keep doing the things you love. To receive care for lactose intolerance in Phoenix, AZ, contact us today to request a consultation.
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