Milk and derivateOne of the most complete foods and universally incorporated to the diet, milk, contains a sugar called lactose, that many people are incapable to digest.

Lactose intolerance is an affectation of the intestinal mucous membrane with impossibility to digest the lactose, sugar of milk, due to a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase.

The symptoms of the lcatose intolerance are the abdominal pain, diarrea, distension of the abdomen and flatulency.

It is a disease that appears in childhood but that keeps progressing until the adult life.

The lack of one of the nutritional bases, mainly for children, can generate loss of weight and possible malnutrition. The absence of milk in the diet can produce lack of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin and lack of proteins. This makes necessarily to replace milk by other products prepared with proteins of milk, or by its similar of soybean. This last option presents/displays a good nutricional profile at low cost.

Diagnosis

Once the professional has found the symptoms before descripted, there are some laboratory tests that will help him to confirm the first diagnostic.

One of them consists of the sugar analysis after lactose ingestion.

After the ingestion of a certain amount of lactose blood samples are taken, an increase of 2 mg /dl of glucose normally appear in the 2 hours of the ingestion.

Another analysis, less used, is the registry of the increase of the amount of hydrogen in the breathing after lactose ingestion.

Also the increase of acidity of the fecal matter can speak of the lactose intolerance.

In other cases the intestinal biopsy may be of help. By means of the biopsy of thin intestine, a test is made to verify the presence or not of lactase in the intestinal mucous.

Treatment

Since the lactose intolerance appears due to the lack of the necessary enzyme for its metabolism, the application of that enzyme, lactase, to milk after warming up can help its tolerance, since it almost reduces the lactose presence in a 100%.

While it´s not possible to collabore to the digestion of milk process, the treatment must guarantee the substitution of nutritional deficit by lack of milk ingestion. One of the most important is the lack of calcium, mainly in small children, who need the contribution of this mineral for their growth, and women in the menopause and its pre and post periods. In them, the metabolic changes cause that they need more contributions of calcium to avoid the osteoporosis.

A boy needs a daily contribution 400 mg in his first months of life, but this requirement goes in ascent. To the year of life he will need 600mg , and between the first and tenth year, the daily requirement will be of 800 mg.

It is necessary to notice that vitamin D will be needed as well, for being necessary for the absorption of calcium.

The other part of the treatment consists of suppressing the feeding of milk and its derivatives. All the labels of nutritional products must be checked to find out if they contain them. There is a universe of products that can contain milk or its derivatives, and will be necessary training to recognize them.

As an alternative, the soybean milk is a good substitute by the quality and amount of proteins that contains. Another benefit of this product is its low cost. There exist some prepared compound of proteins of soybean with vegetal oils and carbohydrates, completing a nutritious food and without disadvantages in the digestion.

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