It’s trendier than ever to eat gluten free bread, and lactose free milk is nowadays just as common as ordinary milk in grocery stores. But fact is that lactose and gluten can cause a lot of suffering.
First of all, let’s try to sort things out. What does lactose and gluten really mean?
Lactose is disaccharide sugar that gives the milk its sweet taste, which most of us have loved since we were toddlers. To be able to digest the lactose properly we need an enzyme called lactase. Many, especially adults, lack this enzyme thus leading to indigestion, stomach cramps and bloating.
This mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keeps its shape. Even though gluten is a good source of protein, many people are intolerant and some even allergic, suffering from an auto immune disease called coeliac disease, causing damage in the small intestine. This disease normally runs in the family and can cause a lot of different symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, swollen ankles, anemia and fatigue. If you suffer from some of these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean you have coeliac disease. However if you’re worried you should consult a physician.
Even though you’re not allergic you could be gluten and lactose sensitive, meaning that you respond negatively to dairy and wheat products. This might be symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome or you could simply be just sensitive to these types of products.
How do I know?
First of all pay a visit to your doctor and inform him/her about your problems. You can easily check if you have coeliac disease or whether you are gluten or lactose intolerant with a blood test. If these tests come back negative (not allergic/intolerant) try to exclude dairy from your diet for about two weeks. If you still suffer from stomach ache try excluding wheat, rye and barely.
We know it can be difficult at first, but imagine a life without bloating and cramps. It’s worth it!
By: Victoria Thoors