Lactose intolerance is a vague subject in Nigeria. It is something you often hear in the news or actors mention in movies. However, it is more common in this part of the world than you think. Truth is, anyone could be lactose Intolerant. As a matter of fact, it is self-diagnosable.

Lactose is a type of natural sugar commonly found in dairy products such as milk and yoghurt. The intolerance stems from an inability to break it down, and this mostly occurs due to a decline in lactase which is caused by ageing, hence, it is common among adults.

Although lactose intolerance is majorly driven by age, there are other causes such as:

  • Premature birth

This occurs when a baby is born prematurely, usually before lactase production begins in pregnancy.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease 

People born with this disease may be at high risk of being lactose Intolerant.

lactose intolerance
How to know if you’re lactose Intolerant 

According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin within thirty minutes to two hours after you drink milk or eat foods containing lactose.

These symptoms are valid ways to confirm if you’re lactose intolerant and some of them are:
  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Nausea
  3. Stomach cramps
  4. Bloating
  5. Gas
lactose intolerance

When your body can’t break down lactose, a lot of fermentation occurs, which eventually leads to bloating and stomach cramps. Also, when more fermentation occurs, gas is released. Interestingly, however, gases produced from lactose fermentation have no odour. Constipation could also occur and other symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of concentration
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Problems urinating
  • Eczema
lactose intolerance

While these symptoms could also mean you’re infected with some other type of disease, it is important to note if you develop them after drinking or eating foods containing lactose. Some of these foods are ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, and butter. But the level of lactose in these products varies and is sometimes quite low, so you may still be able to have some of them without experiencing any problems.

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