How do doctors treat lactose intolerance?
There is no known cure for lactose intolerance, but the outlook is excellent. All described symptoms can be relieved if milk or dairy products are heavily limited or fully avoided, or if they are eaten along with a dose of commercially prepared lactase enzyme(link).
There are some treatments that depend on the cause of the problem. It is caused by lactase non-persistence or congenital lactase deficiency, then there are no treatments that can increase the amount of lactase. You will just need to change your daily diet.
If an injury to your small intestine caused lactose intolerance, then check with your doctor and treat the cause of the injury. There is a high chance that after treatment you will be able to freely consume lactose.
While some premature babies are lactose intolerant, the condition usually improves without treatment as the baby gets older.
Often doctors recommend ice cream to monitor symptoms. In many cases, it is more tolerated than other dairy foods because of its high-fat content. As you little by little increase your lactose levels, check your diet with your doctor or a nutritionist to be sure that you are eating the proper proportions of fat, protein, and other nutrients.
For correct treatment please see your doctor or dietitian
The most successful approach to coping with lactose intolerance is to first avoid all milk and milk containing products. If you find out that you are lactose intolerant but still love milk in different forms that it’s been produced, then try small amounts of dairy, i.e. cheese, yogurt or sour cream can be tolerated because they contain small amounts of lactose. Still, some studies show that a lot of people with lactose intolerance can consume the equivalent of eight ounces of milk with no side effects, a little more in the lactose-containing food.
Lactase products are tablets or drops that contain lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. You can take lactase tablets before or in the middle you eat or drink milk products. You can also add lactase drops to milk before you drink it. The lactase tablets breaks down the lactose helps your body to digest it, lowering the chances of having any symptoms.
Supplements containing enzymes produced by lactose-digesting bacteria (Lactaid, Lactrase, others) can be taken as tablets or added to foods. Some milk products have added additional lactase in advance or lactose was removed from them(Lactaid, Dairy Ease link). Bear in mind that this kind of milk will taste a little sweeter, because sugar has already been broken down.
There are also so-called Probiotics containing Lactobacillus reuteri, they also can decrease symptoms, but not as well as artificial lactase tablets.
There is no knokn side effects to this enzymes and there is no easy way to know what is response and needed dose for your body, finding the best approach can be a trial-and-error process. This will take time and some expense, experimenting isn’t likely to be harmful.
Check with your doctor before using lactase products. Some people, such as young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, may not be able to use them.
How can I manage my lactose intolerance symptoms?
Most of the time, you can handle the symptoms just by changing your diet to limit or avoid milk and milk products.
Some people are able to consume small amounts of lactose they eat or drink, while others will need to stay away from lactose altogether. Using artificial lactase(link) products usually help people control their symptoms.