If you’re feeling lethargic, bloated, gassy, or just plain off, you might be one of thousands of men who are living with an undiagnosed lactose intolerance. This common problem affects thousands of American men and is caused by an inability to digest lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products. If you are sensitive to lactose, symptoms also include cramping in the lower belly or soft, foamy stools in severe cases.
Lactose intolerance is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk. Symptoms of a milk allergy are usually more severe than those from lactose intolerance. People who have a milk allergy cannot eat or drink any milk products. (2)
Dairy products contain an important source of protein and calcium. If you tend to avoid these foods or feel bad when eating them, it is wise to consider moving to a lactose free diet. This doesn’t mean you have to give up milk or cheese, however. Many brands now carry lactose-free products that taste just as good as the originals, but without lactose.
If you are tired of struggling with digestive issues, watch this video on five foods you need to avoid eating today. These will transform your life!
What Is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk. When lactose moves through the large intestine camera.gif (colon) without being properly digested, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, belly pain, and bloating. (1)
Asian, African American, Native American, and South American men are more likely to experience these symptoms than men of European descent. In some cases, lactose intolerance may appear later in life after a sickness, which stops the small intestines from digesting lactose, or in rare cases, from birth, when newborns are born with no tolerance for lactose.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Men with a lactose intolerance may experience symptoms for many years before a diagnosis is made. This is because the symptoms are largely considered a nuisance, not an emergency. Many men prolong the discomfort before finally speaking to their doctor. This is a shame as the treatment for lactose intolerance is simple and yields great results.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Pain or cramps in the lower belly
- Gurgling or rumbling sounds in the lower belly
- Loose stools or diarrhea. Sometimes the stools are foamy
- Throwing up
It’s important to note, just because you experience one or some of these symptoms after consuming dairy products one time it does not mean you are lactose intolerant. You must experience these symptoms almost every time to be diagnosed. That said many people are now choosing to remove lactose from their diet, as they feel immensely better for doing so.
If you think you might have lactose intolerance talk with your doctor. Your doctor can make sure that your symptoms are caused by lactose intolerance and not by another problem. Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of lactose intolerance, including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, overuse of laxatives, and problems digesting foods that contain fructose and sorbitol. (2)
For more info on what is potentially destroying your digestive system, check out this shocking video on the five foods that are damaging your colon!