Lactose intolerance is quite a common deficiency found in a large number of Americans. Such people find it difficult to absorb dairy products. It is not that this problem is found particularly in Americans, as per the research people of Asian origin are more prone to this problem. This is not only related to children even adults are affected by this. One should be clear that this is not such a disease which can affect the life cycle of any individual. Many people affected by lactose intolerance have been seen to have lived a normal life taking some basic precautions.
Symptoms: The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are gastrointestinal difficulties faced by the child or gas fills the intestines causing discomfort. Some of the children suffer from nausea or cramps in stomach region or diarrhoea. The symptoms start appearing within maximum two hours of consuming food containing lactose.
Causes: The main cause of lactose intolerance in kids is lack of or deficiency of lactase enzyme in the small intestines. Lactase help break down lactose present in milk products into glucose and galactose. These get mixed with blood and are absorbed by cells. By metabolic action in cells energy is released. When lactose is not broken down it attracts fluid in bowel. The causes of lactose intolerance are deficiency of lactase enzyme in intestines or in some cases it can be due to birth of an individual without the capacity to produce lactase enzyme. The third cause can be injury to intestines which significantly reduces the capacity to produce lactase enzyme.
It is possible to detect the existence of this deficiency in a person by carrying out certain medical tests on the suffering person. The main test is analysis of stool sample for existence of undigested lactose. However in case of doubt about the existence of this problem a medical specialist should be consulted. A child suffering from this has to immediately reduce intake of dairy products, candies, pancakes and other non fatty dry milk powder containing food items.
Dairy products contain vitamin D essential for development of healthy bones of the child. To cover up this deficiency, the child should be given food rich in vitamin D and calcium such as green vegetables, egg or fish. Instead of dairy milk, soya milk and its products can be used. Sunlight is another rich source of vitamin D. The doctor can suggest calcium and vitamin supplements. Now medicines which help increase lactase in intestines have been discovered and are available in the market. The patient can take these medicines under strict medical advice.