Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest and absorb lactose (type of sugar present in milk and other dairy products) that results in gastrointestinal symptoms when milk or food products containing milk are consumed. Normally when a person eats something containing lactose, an enzyme in the small intestine called lactase breaks down lactose into simpler sugar forms called glucose and galactose. These simple sugars are then easily absorbed into the bloodstream and turned into energy, fuel for our bodies. The people who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the lactose in the milk because they lack the enzyme lactase which is essential to digest lactose.
- Increasing age: Lactose intolerance usually appears in adulthood. The condition is uncommon in babies and young children.
- Ethnicity: Lactose intolerance is most common in people of African, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian descent.
- Premature birth: Infants born prematurely may have reduced levels of lactase because the small intestine doesn’t develop lactase-producing cells until late in the third trimester.
- Diseases affecting the small intestine: Small intestine problems that can cause lactose intolerance include bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.
- Certain cancer treatments: If you have received radiation therapy for cancer in your abdomen or have intestinal complications from chemotherapy, you have an increased risk of lactose intolerance.
- Bloating of abdomen
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Excessive production of gas
- Frequent diarrhea
- Stress and anxiety
- Joint pains
- Headache and nausea
- Poor concentration
- Excessive sweating
Types and causes
- Congenital lactase deficiency is a hereditary condition which results from the mutation of genes. The person is born with this condition where they produce little or no lactase enzyme.
- Familial lactase deficiency is a condition where there is production of enough lactase, but cannot break down the absorbed lactose into the bloodstream.
- Primary lactase deficiency is the most common cause of lactose intolerance. It is a genetically inherited disorder that usually develops before the age of 20 years. Symptoms begin to appear very gradually.
- Secondary lactase deficiency is caused by any disorder in the small intestines resulting in decreased lactase production such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chemotherapy, gastroenteritis, etc.
- Hydrogen breath test: After drink a liquid that contains high levels of lactose, the doctor measures the amount of hydrogen in the breath at regular intervals. Breathing out too much hydrogen indicates that the person isn’t fully digesting and absorbing lactose.
- Lactose tolerance test: Two hours after drinking a liquid that contains high levels of lactose, the person undergoes blood tests to measure the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. If glucose level doesn’t rise, it means the body isn’t properly digesting and absorbing the lactose-filled drink.
Homeopathy has proven beneficial to solving the lactose intolerance problem. Our homeopathy takes care of the internal maintaining cause of a variety of food sensitivities, in addition to dairy. Homeopathic remedies stir up the inherent healing powers of the body. Homeopathy considers lactose intolerance as a disruptive manifestation of the patient’s immune system. The symptoms of lactose intolerance indicate an underlying, deeper malfunction. Homeopathic remedies heal with a deep acting constitutional approach, stimulating the body’s natural defense against lactose intolerance symptoms. The efficacy of homeopathic remedies is seen in changes in pathology including subsiding any intestinal swelling, and progressively restoring the micro flora, which facilitates in breaking down undigested lactose.
Homeopathic remedies reinforce the immune system making the body react less to dairy products. Our medicines are made from natural substances and include specific allergens to gently, safely expose the individual to their specific weak areas. This allows the natural defenses to properly adapt to the secretion of the lactase enzyme and no longer react to it adversely.
Aethusa cynapium is considered to be one of the top Homoeopathic remedies for lactose intolerance. Vomiting of milk as soon as swallowed or in large curds. Hungry after vomiting. Undigested, thin, greenish diarrhea, preceded by colic with tenesmus followed by exhaustion and drowsiness. The children are irritable, anxious and crying.
Cina is indicated for milk tolerance with worm troubles. Vomiting and diarrhea immediately after taking milk, especially mother’s milk.
Magnesia muriatica is another effective remedy for lactose intolerance. Cannot digest milk, causes flatulence and colic. Belching like rotten eggs. Continued rising of white froth into mouth. Appearance of blisters on lips and tongue after taking milk. The tongue feels burnt and scalded.
Natrum carb person has an aversion to milk. Aversion to milk, which causes diarrhea. Complaints worse from milk. Very weak digestion. Heartburn after taking milk. Flatulent and bloated abdomen. Abdomen enlarged and distended. Yellow, watery and gushing stool, sour-smelling stool sometimes mixed with blood.
Sepia is also an effective remedy for milk intolerance, where complaints worse after milk, especially boiled milk. Nausea at the thought and smell of milk. Abdomen flatulent and bloated.
It is indicated for vomiting after taking milk. Nausea, cold sweat, and trembling with distension of abdomen. Vomiting with severe cramps and cutting pain in the abdomen.
It is indicated for nausea, vomiting and, headache after taking milk and other dairy product. Obstinate constipation with large stools. Exhausted from excessive straining for stool.
It is indicated for excessive flatulence, belching and bloating. Inability to digest milk and dairy products with abdominal colic and flatulence of abdomen relieved by bending double and vomiting of food. The tongue is coated white or yellow with indigestion. Difficulty in breathing due to pressure from abdominal flatulence.
It is indicated for allergic reactions from taking milk. Intense itching eruptions with redness and inflamed patches of skin all over the body. Intense itching of the body with difficulty in breathing.