Lactose Intolerance in Denver, CO
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What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is an extremely common condition in the United States. Lactose (milk sugar) is the leading carbohydrate in milk and other dairy products. The body can be “intolerant” of lactose because it can't generate a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose.
Lactase is an intestinal enzyme that is made in your duodenum (small intestine) that helps break down lactose. Lactose intolerance is not a serious condition, but it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms based on your body’s degree of intolerance. Some individuals reference lactose intolerance as a milk allergy.
If you or a member of your family need assistance with lactose intolerance in Denver, CO, our gastroenterologist providers can help. Request a consultation at Colorado Gastroenterology and let our experience and expertise lead you on the right path toward better GI health.
What is the cause of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is due to the body’s incapacity to produce, or a deficiency in the production of, lactase. A couple of the main reasons why the body is unable to generate enough lactase to help break down lactose involve:
Primary lactose intolerance
Primary lactose intolerance is the most frequent form of lactose intolerance and is caused by the aging process. The older you get, the less lactase your body produces. This type of lactose intolerance can get passed through family lines genetically and affects certain individuals to a greater extent than others. As reported by the food intolerance network, milk sugar intolerance impacts 5 – 17% of Europeans, around 44% of Americans, around 50% of Latino/Hispanic individuals, and 60 – 80% of Africans and Asians.
Secondary lactose intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance typically occurs when the small intestine (duodenum) is impaired due to an illness, trauma, surgical procedure, or more serious issue like Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. The production of lactase lowers when the duodenum (small intestine) becomes bloated. Treatment of the disorder might return the normal functioning of the small intestine and restore lactase amounts to their standard levels.
To learn more about lactose intolerance, contact a Colorado Gastroenterology location in your area to request a consultation with a gastrointestinal provider who specializes in this condition. Our staff will provide knowledgeable tips and information on how to deal with lactose intolerance.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance can be different for each person depending on the level of lactase they can produce. Some of the most common signs of lactose intolerance include:
- Intermittent constipation
- Abdominal spasms
Should you observe any of the described signs above, our GI specialists in Denver, CO can provide assistance and determine an approach that works the best for your digestive health.
What are the treatment options for lactose intolerance?
In most instances, the best solution if you are lactose intolerant is to refrain from consuming dairy products completely. There is currently no possible way to encourage lactase manufacturing in the body. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to refrain from encountering the uneasiness that results from ingesting lactose. If you consider lactose intolerance as a dairy intolerance allergy, that could help direct you in the choices you make.
Other treatments and suggestions for managing lactose intolerance that our Denver, CO GI providers may recommend include:
- Probiotics and prebiotics
- Include tiny servings of dairy products into your meals to establish a tolerance
- Lactase enzyme medications
- Consume lactose-reduced dairy items
It is always best to discuss treatment options with your Colorado Gastroenterology provider to determine the best solutions for your needs.
Ease your symptoms with professional care
If your lactose intolerance becomes too much to handle, let our knowledgeable GI specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology intervene and assist you with getting relief. We can develop a treatment protocol to help you restore your well-being so that you may carry on doing the activities you love. To receive care for lactose intolerance in Denver, CO, connect with a provider at a location near you and request a consultation today.
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I just had my first consultation appointment with Dr Trouillot. What I found most valuable about him was his attentiveness, a great listener. Too many physicians are pressed for time and are challenged with allowing patients to explain their symptoms and history in detail. Dr Trouillot gave me the time to explain and I never felt rushed or dismissed.