Don ’ t tolerate dairy ? Here ’ s what you could do
by Andrea Hardy , RD
Do you have patients who experience symptoms of digestive discomfort after consuming dairy ? Patients who struggle to digest dairy could be lactose intolerant or , in some cases , could even be experiencing sensitivity to a type of protein found in cows ’ milk called A1 protein .
The good news is that there may be options you could try for these patients , which don ’ t necessarily have to involve cutting out dairy altogether ! Let ’ s dive into the different reasons why dairy might cause digestive distress in some people , and what you can suggest doing about it .
WHAT IS LACTOSE INTOLERANCE ?
There are multiple reasons why a person might not tolerate dairy products . The first of these is lactose intolerance . Lactose , the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products , is normally broken down by the enzyme lactase . Some people do not produce enough of the lactase enzyme , meaning lactose can move through the gut undigested . When lactose reaches the colon , it gets fermented by our gut microbiome , causing symptoms like gas , abdominal pain , bloating and diarrhoea .
To manage lactose intolerance , people can typically either choose lactose-free dairy products or take lactase enzyme pills to help them digest lactose . But are there any other options available for dairy intolerant patients ?