What is lactose?

Lactose is the so-called Lactose and occurs in the milk of mammals. The proportion of milk sugar in milk can vary between 2% and 7%. Lactose is a so-called double sugar, which consists of two different types of sugar. As a sugar, lactose belongs to the group of carbohydrates and is therefore a energy supplier for the body.

In order to be able to utilize the lactose, it must first be broken down into the individual sugar molecules after it has been absorbed. It does this through the Lactase enzyme. The individual components can then be absorbed by the intestine into the blood and transported to the organs. In infancy, there are high levels of lactase in the body, as much Milk sugar from breast milk needs to be split up. In adulthood, on the other hand, lactase is only formed in small quantities, as milk consumption decreases. If the milk sugar can no longer be broken down and absorbed, one speaks of one Lactose intolerance.

Lactose not only comes in milk, but also in all dairy products like in yogurt, buttermilk and cheese. However, the proportion of lactose is different. In cream cheese it is more than 2%, whereas hard cheeses have a lactose content of less than 0.1%. Even lactose-free products can contain a small amount of milk sugar.

Lactose intolerance

A lactose intolerance is also called Milk sugar intolerance designated. In Germany about suffers every seventh underneath. The reason is that the Lactase enzyme not or only in insufficient quantities available is. The lactose ingested with food can therefore not or not completely be broken down into its individual components and, as a result, cannot be absorbed into the blood by the cells of the intestinal mucosa. The lactose thus remains in the intestine and is digested by bacteria. The bacteria produce gases and acids that too Indigestion being able to lead. Often therefore occur with a lactose intolerance Flatulence after consuming products containing lactose. In addition, the lactose that remains in the intestine draws water into the intestine and leads to it diarrhea.

Often the enzyme lactase is im Childhood yet There is enoughHowever, at an advanced age, there is a deficiency and the resulting lactose intolerance. It is noticeable that lactose intolerance occurs differently in different countries. This is presumably both on genetic causes as well as the Eating habits traced back.

Very Rare is a lactose intolerance innate and already causes symptoms in babies.

Lactose allergy

An allergy to lactose should not be confused with a lactose intolerance, even if these terms are often equated in colloquial terms. In the case of lactose intolerance, there is a deficiency in the milk sugar-splitting enzyme lactase, which does not involve an allergic reaction.

If there is an allergy to lactose, this can be done with one allergic reaction hand in hand. That means that the body with the Formation of antibodies to lactose responds. This can manifest itself through various symptoms, such as skin rash or Shortness of breath. Also Gastrointestinal complaints can occur.

A lactose allergy should not be confused with a cow's milk allergy or a milk protein allergy.

Diagnosing lactose intolerance

There are various tests that can be used to test whether you are lactose intolerant. But it is often very revealing that nutrition Observe and note down for some time and record the symptoms that arise, such as disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Typically the discomfort occurs after mealsthat much Lactose included, on. If you suspect lactose intolerance should be targeted for a few weeks no products containing lactose and care should be taken to see whether the symptoms recede.

In addition, a doctor, known as a Hydrogen breath test can perform. The test measures the level of hydrogen in the air you breathe. One measurement is taken before drinking a lactose test solution, the other after. The patient must be fasted for this test. If you are lactose intolerant, above-average amounts of hydrogen are produced in the intestine and exhaled.

In certain cases when the results of the hydrogen breath test do not suggest a diagnosis, such as when taking Antibiotics, another lactose tolerance test may be necessary. The blood sugar levels in the blood can be determined after a lactose solution has been drunk.

At a Lactose intolerance the sugar cannot be absorbed into the blood and the Blood sugar levels remain even after drinking the solution low.

Therapy for lactose intolerance

Lactase preparations can be obtained without a prescription in pharmacies.

If you are lactose intolerant, will lactose mostly up to one conscience Still tolerate measure. This is individually different and must be tried by the person concerned. However, if the person concerned wants to consume lactose without causing symptoms, he can Lactase tablets take in. These are tablets that contain the milk sugar-splitting enzyme lactase, which is not present in sufficient quantities in the case of lactose intolerance. The preparation is available as a Powder, capsules or Chewable tablets Available without a prescription from the pharmacy. Depending on how high the proportion of milk sugar is in the meal, the lactase preparation must be dosed accordingly. The lactase tablets must before the meal be taken. The lactase contained in it then breaks down the milk sugar that is absorbed by the food and supports the body's own enzyme.

Lactase preparations can make it possible to consume foods and drinks containing lactose from time to time, but they can lead to a permanent switch to a low-lactose or lactose-free diet Not replace.