Developing Lactose Intolerance Later in Adulthood

Although lactose intolerance develops typically in children/ young people, you can develop Lactose Intolerance as an adult.
Occasionally it’s genetics, but other reasons include, extreme stress, food poisoning, and cutting dairy out of your diet for such a long time, that the body rejects dairy once it is reintroduced back to it.
It’s essential to talk to your physician to ascertain if you’re genuinely intolerant or have a different dietary issue.
Some people can redevelop tolerance slowly, while others will have to avoid lactose for life.
This can be a nightmare for someone who is dairy-lover: One day you could be eating a big hunk of cheese and wine followed by ice cream by the pint, and the next day you can even have a sip of milk without becoming extremely nauseous, bloated and gassy. These are the signs of lactose intolerance.

Unfortunately, you can become Lactose intolerant well into your adult years.

What is the definition of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine does not make enough of the lactase enzyme to separate and break down sugar in dairy, known as lactose.

Since your body can’t process and digest these sugars, it has to exclude them somehow from the body, and that can bring on the fun symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, cramps, bloating and gas.

When can you become lactose intolerant?
Lactose intolerance typically starts in children about age 5, and about 30 million adults have become the United States are lactose intolerant by age 20, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For the most part, lactose intolerance tends to be based on hereditary. All babies can digest and assimilate lactose as their first food. As we grow older, many of us have demished sections of the intestine that secrete lactase stop operating.

Though lactose intolerance most often begins by the time your teenager or early twenties, It is relatively prevalent for people to become lactose intolerant as adults. In fact, some studies found that as many as 75 percents of the world’s population lose the ability to digest milk at some point.

What causes lactose intolerance in adults?
There are a many triggers that upset your body’s ability to digest lactose, such as:

Stomach bug
Food poisoning
Extreme stress
Small-intestine diseases (like Crohn’s)

Lactase enzymes live on the brush border is where absorption takes place. The brush borders of the intestinal lining are the place of final carbohydrate digestions. The microvilli that make up the brush border have enzymes for this last part of digestion secured into their apical plasma membrane as essential membrane proteins. If there’s inflammation of the digestive tract, that section of the brush border is the first part be impacted, so those enzymes are often the first to leave.

Other people find they naturally “age out” of their capacity to digest lactose. “No one understands exactly why, but it’s prevalent enough. If you think about it from an evolutionary viewpoint, for an infant, milk is the only food source. But as you become older, your evolutionary necessity to absorb nutrients from milk is not as critical. Thus, allowing you to forego milk and dairy products for other forms of nutrients.

It could also be a fact that you were always lactose intolerant, you just never recognized it. Adults tend to be more capable of making associations between what they eat and how they feel afterward.

How do I know I’m lactose intolerant?
Foroutan says that when lactose doesn’t break down, and those sugars hang out in the digestive tract, your body tries to wash out that sugar by carrying water into the colon—commencing symptoms such cramping, gas, and loose stools, Most symptoms arise within two hours of eating so you will no pretty quickly if you are having a reaction.

However, people at times may assume they are lactose intolerant when they are sensitive to whey or casein- the protein in milk and the watery substance that persists after milk is transformed into curds. For instance, if you eat hard cheeses, which do not contain lactose, it may indicate a casein sensitivity. You may also be sensitive to any combination of lactose, whey, and casein.

Understanding Lactose Intolerance

The best way to figure out your sensitivities and limits is to work with a nutritionist to eliminate dairy, then slowly reintroduce it to your diet. After avoiding all dairy for two to three weeks, you’ll begin eating specific products one at a time— usually butter, then hard cheeses, then yogurt or kefir. This allows you to note what particular foods your digestive tract is relaxed with and your body tolerates well.

If you sense that you are still intolerant to a specific dairy product, you can remove it from your diet for a few months until your digestive tract stabilizes enough, then et it again. If you still have symptoms when you start eating it again, try eliminating one last time and re-introducing it one more time. After three test of eliminating and reintroducing, and you still have symptoms, you’re likely having some reaction and are off avoiding it.

Is it possible to prevent Lactose Intolerance?
As long as you’re not genetically predisposed to lactose intolerance, you should be able to assimilate lactose your entire life (barring illness or injury to your digestive tract). And it can be an essential part of your diet: The USDA and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advise aiming for three servings of dairy per day.

Take out dairy from your diet for an extended period, however, and you might wind up with irritations when you try to eat it again. If you don’t eat it, you may lose the ability to eat it. Although, you can teach your body to tolerate dairy foods again. You have to make slow changes to your diet, following the same kind of re-introduction steps that you would for an elimination diet.

In the case you are genetically intolerant to lactose, you presumably won’t ever be 100 % fine consuming dairy products. When you eat or drink anything that your body cannot digest well, it will produce a lot of inflammation within your digestive tract, which in turn raises inflammation in your body. This is why it’s essential to avoid the foods that you know to trigger any unpleasant reaction.

There’s no conclusive test to determine whether you are genetically intolerant to lactose. However, lactose intolerance in close family members is a comparatively reliable signal.

What should I do if I’m diagnosed with lactose intolerance?
Most individuals who are diagnosed with lactose intolerance can nevertheless have up to eight ounces of dairy per day without symptoms, according to AND. However, most people do better with fermented dairy products, like kefir and yogurt rather than liquid milk. You may want to experiment with different types of milk: You may notice that cow’s milk roils your stomach, but you don’t get the same from or goat or sheep’s milk, or vice versa. Otherwise, taking a lactase pill may assist to keep symptoms under control.

If all dairy foods are off limits for you don’t fear: There are many products out there like Lactose-free milk and yogurt but are required by the FDA to contain zero lactose. You can ordinarily get all the calcium you need from other foods that are calcium-rich, like tahini, tofu dark leafy greens, and sardines. And most of the people—who may not live in a sunny/southern region—need to take a vitamin D supplement to meet other vitamin requirements whether you eat dairy or not.

Health Life Media Team