Lactose intolerance becomes noticeable relatively quickly. Just ate the piece of cream cake – and fifteen minutes later you have abdominal cramps, flatulence, and diarrhea. These are typical symptoms of lactose intolerance. We explain what helps!
A good twelve million Germans suffer from lactose intolerance. This means that they cannot properly digest the milk sugar lactose found in dairy products.
Lactose intolerance – breath test provides clarity
The most reliable way to determine lactose intolerance is with an H2 breath test. It is uncomplicated and is carried out in the doctor’s office. The patient drinks pure lactose dissolved in water. If the intestines cannot absorb the lactose sufficiently, we emit a higher level of hydrogen when we breathe. The doctor determines this value with a special breathing apparatus. At the same time, he observes whether digestive problems such as diarrhea or flatulence occur as a reaction to lactose.
Lactose intolerance: You can eat that
In the case of lactose intolerance, there are now many alternatives to classic dairy products: whether whole milk, cheese, quark, or yogurt – everything is now available lactose-free in well-stocked supermarkets. So does lactose-free milk. But they can also switch to rice, oat, or soy milk.
Hard cheese and butter are almost lactose-free. Smaller amounts of milk sugar are tolerated anyway with almost every lactose intolerance. Affected people have to test how sensitive they are. Attention: Products that are naturally low in or free of lactose, such as hard cheese, sausage, or even bread, are often marked as lactose-free. The marked variant then costs more but offers no further advantage.
Calcium isn’t just found in milk
Especially people with lactose intolerance should pay attention to an adequate supply of calcium. Because the valuable bone mineral is the best prevention against osteoporosis. It is found in large amounts in vegetables (broccoli, fennel, leeks), sesame, almonds, or tofu. Mineral water with a calcium content of more than 150 mg/l is also a first-class source of calcium.
Lactose intolerance: secret lactose traps
We don’t always recognize at first glance which products we should avoid. Lactose is also hidden in pralines, chocolate, cakes, dessert creams, and many ready-made sauces. If we don’t want to do without a lactose-rich meal, for example when we go to a restaurant, lactase tablets from the pharmacy can help.