Lactose Intolerance in Northwest Arkansas

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Lactose intolerance is an extremely common condition among people in the United States. Milk sugar (lactose) is the dominant carb in milk and additional dairy products. Your body might be "intolerant" of lactose because it does not yield an adequate amount of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose.

A digestive enzyme, lactase is made in your duodenum (small intestine) that helps process lactose. Lactose intolerance is a mild condition but it can produce irritating symptoms depending on your body’s level of intolerance. Some patients reference lactose intolerance as a dairy allergy.

If you or a member of your family require help with lactose intolerance in Arkansas, our gastrointestinal providers can provide proper care. Request a consultation at GI Alliance of Arkansas and let our knowledge and expertise lead you in a positive path toward an improved quality of life.

Lactose intolerance stems from the body's inability to create (or a shortage in the production of) lactase. Among the major reasons why your body is not able to produce enough lactase to efficiently digest lactose are:

Primary Lactose Intolerance

Primary lactose intolerance is the more frequent kind of lactose intolerance and is due to the aging process. As you age, the less lactase your body yields. This type of lactose intolerance may partially get passed through hereditary factors and occurs in certain populations to a greater extent than others. Per the food intolerance network, milk intolerance impacts 5 – 17% of Europeans, about 44% of Americans, approximately 50% of Hispanic/Latino people, and 60 – 80% of Asians and Africans.

Secondary Lactose Intolerance

Secondary lactose deficiency typically happens when the small intestine is harmed because of a sickness, injury, surgical procedure, or more challenging problem like Crohn's disease or Celiac disease. This is because the production of lactase diminishes when the small intestine is inflamed. Treatment of the disorder can return the function of the small intestine and reinstate lactase amounts to normal.

To learn more about lactose intolerance, connect with a GI Alliance of Arkansas location near you to request an appointment with a gastroenterologist provider who can provide care for the condition. Our staff can offer professional advice and information on how to manage lactose intolerance.

The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance may differ from patient to patient based on how much lactase they are able to produce. Some of the common symptoms of lactose intolerance are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Occasional constipation
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Bloating or fullness
  • Vomiting

Should you observe any of the outlined signs above, our gastrointestinal specialists in Arkansas can help to determine a treatment approach that works well for your digestive health.

If you are lactose intolerant, the best way to manage it is to avoid consuming dairy products completely. There is currently no possible way to spur your body to produce more lactose. As such, the focus of therapy is to alleviate your symptoms and keep from consuming foods that trigger your discomfort. If you approach lactose intolerance as an allergy to dairy, that may help lead you in the choices you make.

Other therapies and answers for addressing lactose intolerance that our Arkansas gastrointestinal specialists could advise are:

  • Buy lactose-reduced dairy items
  • Lactase enzyme medications
  • Probiotics and prebiotics
  • Include small servings of dairy products into your meals to establish a tolerance
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Lactose intolerance can be overwhelming to manage, but the knowledgeable gastrointestinal specialists at GI Alliance of Arkansas can help you. We can craft a treatment protocol to help you regain your GI health so that you may get back to doing the activities you enjoy. To get treatment for lactose intolerance in Arkansas, please contact our team today to plan an appointment.

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