Do you feel unwell after ice cream, cheese or other dairy products but blame it on eating too much? It might not be overindulgence that has given you a stomach ache but possibly a reaction from lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity.
Many people are affected by lactose intolerance without knowing it. However, those who are intolerant but continue to consume lactose can experience long-term damage to their digestive system if they do not properly change their diet.
Lactose intolerance can develop from a variety of factors and present itself through many unpleasant symptoms. Below are six symptoms that can help you determine if you are lactose intolerant.
1. Pain in the stomach area appears almost immediately after consuming lactose
Though this may seem like the most obvious symptom, many people overlook this and blame a sickly feeling on overeating or poorly made food. However, if you are finding that you feel nauseous or uncomfortable immediately after consuming dairy, you should take this as a warning sign.
2. You feel bloated after meals
A bloated feeling is another symptom that many people confuse for overeating, consuming carbonated drinks, or a combination of food. Though feeling bloated after eating can be a normal, common feeling for many individuals, it should not be a constantly recurring problem. Once you notice a pattern of bloating after every meal, consult your doctor and consider the possibility of lactose intolerance.
3. You have diarrhoea lasting over three days
Diarrhoea can be a common occurrence for anyone because of a meal, certain medications, and various other reasons. However, if you have diarrhoea that continues for three days or more after consuming lactose, this is a symptom of intolerance. If your body is trying to remove as much lactose bacterial possible that diarrhoea lasts for an extended amount of time, you should consult your doctor for confirmation that you are experiencing lactose intolerance or sensitivity.
4. Constant fatigue
Fatigue can occur from a myriad of factors such as stress, medications, or lack of sleep. A large factor to fatigue is your diet and the nutrients that your body is either receiving or deprived of. Removing the intake of lactose and receiving replacement nutrients can be a solution to fatigue if you are lactose intolerant.
5. Symptoms continue even when you eat food items that contain small amounts of dairy product
If you notice that you experience the above symptoms even when you are not directly eating a dairy product such as cheese or yogurt, you may need to consider the possibility of lactose intolerance. When you have a high sensitivity or intolerance to lactose, any amount can make you feel bloated or sick after consumption.
6. You experience unintended weight loss
From the symptoms listed above like diarrhoea and fatigue, many individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance can experience unintended weight loss. As your body is unable to digest the lactose from your diet properly and removing most of the food consumed, it is losing some of the required nutrients to maintain weight. An unintended weight loss can be taken as a sign for lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is a very unpleasant problem to live with and can have a long-term effect if not treated properly. Fortunately, there are many food products available for individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance that can give you all the nutrition you need and satisfy your dairy cravings.
If you suffer from any or all of the above symptoms, be sure to speak with your doctor and get tested for lactose intolerance so you don’t have to suffer through any more unpleasantry after eating.