It seems that food sensitivities are increasingly common these days, yet the difference between an allergy and an intolerance can sometimes be tricky to identify.
It is very possible that a lactose intolerance does not make itself known with violent illness after consuming milk products, but in much more subtle ways that lead to generally feeling unwell.
Have you noticed your energy lagging lately? Perhaps indigestion you can’t seem to shake or more frequent headaches? These can all be signs of lactose intolerance.
If you think you might be lactose intolerant, check for symptoms between 30 minutes and 2 hours after you eat milk products. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Painful cramps/gas
- Gurgling stomach
- Loose stools
If you only get a symptoms once after eating dairy, it’s likely not a lactose intolerance (since you would react every time you had dairy).
If you suspect you might have a lactose intolerance based on your reactions, eliminate dairy from your diet and see if they go away.
You can also take a quiz to see if you might be lactose intolerant.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about your findings. There are more sophisticated tests that a lab can perform to conclusively determine a dairy intolerance or allergy.
It’s important to get enough calcium in your diet, but there are lots of ways to achieve this! If you have a sensitivity to lactose, you can enjoy lactose-free milks, as well as eating plenty of dark leafy greens, canned salmon or sardines, calcium enriched juices or milks (soy, almond, etc), and take a multi-vitamin.