Is there something like a lactose intolerance test? And if there is one, how to test for lactose intolerance? You probably know someone who is lactose intolerant, it is a condition that affects millions worldwide. But maybe, without knowing it, you have it too! If you ponder whether you are lactose intolerant because one of your parents may have it, and you have the question, is there a test for lactose intolerance? You come to the right place.
what is an intolerance?
Let’s start at the beginning. Most food intolerances are in some sense the same. They refer to the body’s inability to process or digest certain substances effectively. This inability comes from the lack of certain digestive enzymes. Some foods and drinks contain sugars that are difficult to digest (like lactose or sucrose). Without the specific digestive enzyme, you can’t digest this complex sugar properly and this makes you intolerant to that substance. As an example: Being lactose intolerant means you have insufficient lactase enzyme. When you drink milk (which contains lactose) your body can’t digest lactose and you can get complaints.
lactose intolerance tests
Finally, here comes the answer to the question ‘Can you test for lactose intolerance’ and, if so, how do you test for lactose intolerance? Now that you understand the basics of lactose intolerance, let’s turn our attention to the lactose test. There are a lot of different kinds of tests you can take to find out if you’re lactose intolerant or not. Here are the most common examples:
- The lactose tolerant test
This is the most common lactose intolerance test, also known as the lactose intolerance blood test. You start by fasting overnight, and then you drink a liquid that contains a high amount of lactose. Over the next few hours, several blood samples are taken to measure how much glucose (a product of lactose digestion) is in your blood. If your glucose levels do not rise significantly, it suggests lactose intolerance.
- The hydrogen breath test
This test also starts with fasting overnight. You consume a beverage with a known amount of lactose. Then, you breathe into a device at regular intervals to measure the amount of hydrogen in your breath. Elevated hydrogen levels indicate malabsorption of lactose, suggesting lactose intolerance.
- The stool acidity test
This test is often used for infants and young children. It involves analyzing the acidity of a stool sample after the child consumes lactose. High acidity can suggest lactose intolerance.
- The elimination diet
While not a medical test, you can do this lactose intolerance test at home. An elimination diet involves removing lactose-containing foods from your diet for a period and then reintroducing them while monitoring for symptoms. Improvement of symptoms during lactose elimination and their return during reintroduction can suggest lactose intolerance.
the dairy dilemma
Okay, now that you know if you are lactose intolerant, what to do about it? For most people, dairy is part of their lives. By expelling dairy completely chances are high you are going to miss out on some of the crucial nutrients dairy holds, like: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, calcium, proteins, and similarly. As previously discussed, lactose intolerance comes from the lack of lactase enzyme. Luckily you can supplement your body with this enzyme, by doing so, you can eat and drink lactose-containing products all you like!
Supplements containing the lactase enzyme help people with lactose intolerance to digest lactose properly. Here are the most
- Lactase enzyme capsules rank among the most favored choices in addressing lactose intolerance. These capsules comprise a concentrated lactase enzyme dose and are ingested before consuming foods or drinks with lactose. The lactase enzymes aid in breaking down lactose-containing items within the small intestine.
- Lactase drops present a liquid form of the lactase enzyme supplementation. They are generally mixed directly with milk or other beverages containing lactose. This allows the lactase enzyme to break down lactose before consumption, with a minimum of 80% breakdown occurring after 24 hours. It is essential to add the drops in the recommended dosage as indicated by the product instructions or a healthcare provider.
- An alternative approach involves using a probiotic that produces lactase in the small intestine. Supplements like the once-a-day variant can be an effective solution for people struggling with lactose intolerance. This supplement includes carefully selected probiotic strains that facilitate lactose digestion. When taken once daily, these probiotic strains produce lactase as a byproduct, reducing the risk of experiencing symptoms after consuming lactose.
By putting this knowledge to good use, you enable yourself to find out if you are lactose intolerant, and what you can do about it. So that at the end of the day, you can simply enjoy food again. If you didn’t find the answers you were looking for, take a look at our knowledge bank and find what you’re searching for.