Do I have a lactose allergy?

To follow up on our last post on determining whether you are allergic to gluten, it’s now time to guide you through the often perplexing world of lactose intolerance. If you’re anything like me, chances are you have at least five friends who only seem to be allergic to dairy when it suits them. I’m talking about the people who will demand only soy, almond or rice milk with their coffees but are always first to leap to their feet as soon as gelato is mentioned.

” Lactose allergy? What lactose allergy?”

This comes down to more than just truth-bending and diet trends, as it turns out cow’s milk is particuarly high in lactose sugar (compared to other dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and icecream.) As a result those who are even mildly lactose intolerant will struggle to digest milk, but are often perfectly fine when it comes to small portions of cheddar cheese or frozen yoghurt. Some symptoms of lactose intolerance are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be linked in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. That is why it is important to book in a visit with your GP if you experience of these symptoms, as you will need to take either a blood or breath test to determine the problem.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Lactose_intolerance?open

Emma

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5 responses

  1. Too true about the double standards – so often a coffee snob understands little about what they are drinking. Out of genuine interest, are these kind of allergies on the rise? Do you think it is a product of ”cotton wool” childhoods?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Stuart! Interestingly, food allergies (such as Coeliac disease and lactose allergies) are actually on the rise. Some theorists speculate that this is a result of the late introduction of foods into an infant’s diet. By delaying exposure to certain food products, parents are denying their children the oppurtunity to build up their tolerance levels. So in attempting to shelter their children from food allergies, parents may actually be heightening their vulnerability to them- which links in with what you mentioned about cotton wool kids. However, it’s also possible that food allergies just seem more prevalent in recent years because there is an increasing awareness of the related symptoms.

      Emma

  2. I agree —— it seems “cool” to have allergies ….. when around others … I live with them on a daily basis – and accidentally ingested some today …. 😦 Thanks for sharing!
    http://www.myaspiefiles.com

  3. I find it increasingly common that when I eat out with other people, I become aware of their allergies and needs (such as gluten free/vegan/lactose intolerant etc.) which seems to agree with what you are saying. Personally, I do not like having lactose in the morning as my stomach seems to disagree with me and am a fan of soy milk, so I too am one of those people

  4. I find it increasingly common that when I eat out with other people, I become aware of their allergies and needs (such as gluten free/vegan/lactose intolerant etc.) which seems to agree with what you are saying. Personally, I do not like having lactose in the morning as my stomach seems to disagree with me and am a fan of soy milk, so I too am one of those people!

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