Silviamar: Lactose intolerance    
 Lactose intolerance12 comments
picture 4 Feb 2006 @ 14:42, by Silvia M.S

Some people suffer nausea or diarrhea after drinking milk or milk derivatives. The origin of this problem can be the difficulty to digest lactose.

Lactose is the main complex sugar found in the milk. It's a pretty big compound formed by two smaller components: glucose and galactose. Such a big compound cannot get through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, so we need "something" to break it into smaller pieces. This "something" is a protein named lactase. The more milk and milk products we consume, the more lactase we need.

Normally there's plenty of lactase in the digestive systems of infants and children, but the ability to produce lactase in big amounts decreases as we grow older, generating usually too little to handle more than one or two glasses of milk at a time. When this drop in lactase production falls below certain minimums the intolerance to lactose appears.

Without enough lactase in the digestive fluids, the lactose of milk and milk products isn't broken effectively, so lactose passes along the intestinal path to a region where it undergoes fermentation to gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen and to acid lactic, a bowel irritant. The combination easily produces gastric distress and diarrhea.

I don't think there's any way to increase the amount of lactase enzyme the body can make, but fortunately the symptoms can be controlled through diet. There are lactose-reduced milk products at most supermarkets and even lactase additives available from drug stores without a prescription.




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12 comments

4 Feb 2006 @ 16:10 by jstarrs : Fascinating...
..the arguement for consuming less dairy products (a wasteful system in that we need to grow grass for the cows and that land could be used to grow cereals...)is also that we do not need dairy products as we get older.
Is there another source of lactase, either elsewhere in nature or synthetically?

*********
As far as I know, lactase is generated only in our body, especially while we are children. But there are many milk products in the supermarkts with additional lactase added. There are also some products in drops that can be added to the milk to break down the lactose, so the milk can be drunk by those with lactose intolerance.  



5 Feb 2006 @ 14:16 by martha : Milk free
I agree with starry, way too much dairy is consumed by people. I can't drink milk and even as a child it didn't agree with me. I am almost totally dairy free except for a bit of milk in my coffee and a touch of butter on my toast. My body simply doesn't like dairy, including cheese. I also get sinus problems when I consume dairy besides the other problems you describe. I make up for it by trying to eat foods rich in calcium.
[link]

********
Nature is very wise. Infants have the milk of their mother as their basic food, so they have a lot of lactase to be able to digest the milk. When we grow up, we can eat many other kinds of food, so then the amount of lactase decreases because it's not necessary for our survival. So lactase intolerance is not a disease, it's more a 'natural condition'.
And of course, as you say, a good idea is to eat products rich in calcium when milk is not tolerated well by our body. I can take milk with no problem, but don't like it very much. But I usually yogurts and many other milky desserts like custard or flan.  



6 Feb 2006 @ 11:26 by JMG @156.35.192.4 : milk
My sister has allergy to milk. Do you think that this is the same as lactose intolerance?

*********
I don't think that they're the same. A milk allergy is a reaction to the proteins present in milk. This is very different from lactose intolerance, in which most people can still have small or moderate amounts of milk. An allergy is an immunologic problem. Your immune system fights foreign invaders to the body using what are called antibodies. This is a good thing when these invaders are harmful viruses or bacteria, but in people with allergies the immune system reacts in the same way to dairy proteins, leading to a huge number of possible symptoms.  



6 Feb 2006 @ 13:17 by rayon : Does anyone really
want the ayurvedic persp? There are 6 main tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter astringent and pungent* (see all the spices and herbs etc) these are used to balance the body, they will also counteract the inbalances of other foods they combine with. To stay healthy the body must have a bit of these in Each meal, and a vege diet is greatly enhanced to bodiliy satisfaction by this. If one of the tastes is habitually deleted, an slow inbalance is brought about in the Doshas, or humours, which is individual to each. Milk is SWEET. To get the benefit of this wondorous food, it must not be mixed with sour (from the yogic view) can't remember what others. Some of the problem comes from far far too much cheese and yoghurt in the diet these days. Both are very mucous forming especially at certain times of year. Both of these foods are sour and OLD. Food should be no more than 2 days old from point of cooking. (By the way if it is frozen for 3 months - it is still 3 months old, whatever they try to tell you).
I believe, without checking my books, that probs with milk may come thro this approach. I could not take milk at my life, and they used it to cure my illness. Sometimes I stop milk, and have been told only to reintroduce slowly using goats which is lighter before getting into the strong stuff.
When the body is balanced, a small amount of food goes along way. The appetite can be unnaturally high (esp in Summer) and this is a deception caused by lack or excess of complete six tastes.

Milk absorption is greatly assisted by the addition of Cardomum ground, or cinnamon (astringent/sweet), or a mix of tea spices, and bit of sugar (jaggery pure). Home made yoghurt, no more than 2 days old is best, with water and spices, syrop in blender, so so good.
Oh, and nettles are an excellent source of calcium ie if nettle tea is taken regularly. All allergies are a sign that an inbalance is happening. May be different for each.
*some of these change their category and functions the deeper into the body system they go - hence the science and very precise application and knowledge of every herb spice mineral whatever.

********
This is an interesting approach, Nicola, thank you for taking the time to explain it. So balance is the key to keep a healthy state.
You could write an article in your newslog about this ayurvedic perspective! ;-)  



15 Feb 2006 @ 12:45 by rayon : Continuing
the best course of action is maybe to check with site

www.unifiedherbal.com

Here you can check your own body type ayurvedically and there are many permutations of approach. It is not advised to treat oneself by book reading without much experiece acknowledged by ones own treatment doctor. After all one goes to a regular doctor without wanting to hear about his entire degree course etc before accepting a tablet from a conglomerate pharmaceutical.

*********
Thank you for the link, there are many interesting sections, and there's even a discussion forum. I've opened up an account to check it. Thanks again! :-)

*********

You are welcome, glad it was of interest. The thing about Ayurveda is that it is a creative medicine system. No one practioner will propse the identical solution, or indeed diagnose in wholly the same method, there being several. Their own practice will have been built up using their method, etc. What one group says will not be repeated word by word by another equally good, successful group of practioners. This is because they will have used slightly different herbs, preparations, whatever, have other items at their disposal, have certain types of people, which will all in the end determine how they practice, to get beneficial effects.

If one thinks about it, it is preferable to get someone who actually thinks about the diagnoses he or she sees, and the person in front of them. They never treat the disease alone, but the whole person, and of course this means, no diseases are completely the same, because each person is completely different.

This web site access, is one of several that I know, and some of the things they say are strange to me, but they will know how to follow it through to their final way of thinking. I have visited their clinic in London because of my interest, and it is excellent, (to compare with my place in India).

The reason I like David Frawley, is because English is his first language. He is an acknowledged world reknowned expert even in India, and therefore one does not have the problem of Lost in Translation, which is experienced with several groups. However, this should not been seen as a negative sign in terms of their knowledge and effectiveness. In India, the people accept whatever the doctor says, without question, and now, these same practioners are having to articulate some thoughts sufficient for the lay person, it is hard. Ayurveda has so many variants, depending on circumstances.  



21 Feb 2006 @ 15:36 by rayon : Anwering your Ques
"So balance is the key" ??? - not quite, one has to find out WHAT to balance, that is one's own ayurvedic make up, mix of the three primary energetics which exist in all organic life, like a fingerprint. This is your DOSHA. Find out what this is, and the main tastes to include in the diet will be indicated. People with certain illnessess will be told to decrease certain tastes and increase others, mixing some cancels out the bad effects while giving off good ones to the Individual. IE if you should not have certain spices, but need them to digest and keep appetite up, the bad effects of these (say increasing heat too much) will be off set by eating cooling substances (Bitter) like coriander or coconut or both as a chutney. The bad effect is not in taste, but in EFFECT. The taste is one of the indicators. When you know your OWN doshic make up, P, or V or K, of PV or VP or VPK, or VK or PK, etc there will be preferences to maintain your optimum level within that strata which you are. Is this quite clear? Sorry, but it is not simplistic in any way, and I have done the best I can.

The main thing is that once the DOSHA has been identified, together with age, because, there are seasons to one's life: childhood to 16 is Kapha, 16-60 is Pitta predominant, and 60+ is Vata predominant. Whether one has V in their dosha as a primary function (we all have the 3 but in which balance) or not, everybody's V will be affected as they approach later stages of life. This can be offset by adopting many habits condusive to keeping the V energy in control, AND decrease, slow down the age process very considerably indeed, and with Panchakarma treatment, knock off 10 years. In ayurveda one is supposed to be totally healthy from 16-60 if correct life styles are adopted, that is what the body is set up to do. What we do with it is a another matter.

Anti ageing? Primary characteristic of V is movement, primary mover is air and water so,

of course, meditation, staying still will counteract this, and allow the body a chance to do its own thing all round.

Keep routine days
Lunch main meal (Midday chief P time, (P = fire and air (combustion)))
Never eat frozen, dried, dehydrated, ever - (soak muesli, etc or cook) what goes in dry and cracked will make dry and cracked and disperse energy. As it had the process of dispersal applied to it, this will pass on to the individual.

Do Not eat salads or raw (too much air) wilt in pan, humous stacks of air, bread yeast (lots of air) yes croissants, find pain levain naturelle - de compagne - some wine is good - smoking lots of air and heat (bitter taste needed for some)

Use oil often, esp ayurvedic oil (sesame is best)

Too much TV, travelling esp flying increase V alot and symptoms

In the summer, some ice cream is allowed.

The V P K of the day cycle (The actual day has its main characteristics too) peak twice every 24 hours. P 10-2.00pm V 2-6pm K6-10pm etc

The VPK peak with the seasons of the year with little fluctuations these are weather characteristics imparting to all nature. P summer, V fall, Winter is V but P is rising, K spring.

E V E R Y T H I N G the body does and where it is A F F E C T S it and is remembered by the body which has to deal with it somehow. If it is given foods grown locally by plants which have thrived in that condition, the thriving in that Weather etc will be passed onto the body, thro the plant.

All Plants have they VPK balance, depending on where they grow. Under the ground, on the ground, Just above the ground or hi up. Do they have air inside them like pods, are they heavy, what shape is their leaf. Each part of the plant also has a differenct effecting process, stem, bark etc.

Geographical areas have their V P K inbalances - Hawaii is an wholly balanced VPK place, Mountains V places, deserts PV places.

These are some of the considerations. The reason Onions make you cry, they are pungent and sting the mucuos membranes.

Oh and Cheeses - the difficulty here, all ok if no treatment or corrections is required. However, the cheese blocks the micro circulatory systems, when these are blocked the disease cannot flow out of a place (usually a weak spot in the individual) and this indirectly makes the disease naturally continue. Unblock the micro circulatory system and miracles occur. This is helped with GHEE, the most viscous substance known. Different herbs work on different parts of the body automatically, part of nature.

At the end of the day, guess what, the psychological make up of each person is reflected by what they eat. Eat certain foods and certain moods, attitudes, tendencies will be encouraged. The qualities in food here are Sattvic (the holy foods, yogic, Milk) Rajastic (the firey foods, chili) and Tamasic (the lazy foods)

There are also 6 or 7 stages in the disease process, as it gets deeper and deeper into the system. The scarey part. Judith Morrison explains this best, see my log, seasonal living.

*********
Wow, how much information!! Thank you Nicola, I'll read it again later to integrate so much info, it's really very interesting.
I went back to that website and did the test to get my bond/mind type and the result was Pitta, it seems that it's a reasonable result having read your comment about the most common age periods for Pitta.

I've never taken ghee, but have read that it can be made at home by melting unsalted butter and filtering it through a piece of cotton fabric to remove the aqueous part.

 



4 Mar 2007 @ 19:43 by rini @69.141.67.72 : Lactose intolerance
I am embarrassed to say, but I love my lattes. I recently had so much pain after one that I am thinking about giving them up. Why do some products contain extra lactose/milk sugar in the form of skim milk powder? The labeling isn't always clear. This is not OK for those of us who can tolerate some dairy, but not a huge or concentrated amount. For instance, I can easily eat most yogurts. Once, though, I ate a small childrens yogurt and had horrible pain and bloating. Sure enough, it had nonfat milk powder. Now I always check.

BTW as a Vata, dairy should otherwise be ok for me, I think. I have no mucus issues. Matter of fact it would be better to have a little drainage than the sore dry nasal passages that I get in the winter.  



21 Jan 2008 @ 18:01 by melztripp : Only Humans
Leave it to humans to drink the milk of another species! We are the only species on earth who does this, we are also the only species that drinks milk as adults. The milk industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and they have done a wonderful job of making us think we need milk. We don't. And our lack of the proper enzymes/proteins just proves this even more. Large consumption of dairy has actually been proven to lead to osteoporosis, because the large amount of protein in it can actually leach the calcium from our bodies. The countries that consume the most diary, also have the highest incidence of osteoporosis....isn't that interesting. Not only that, but the majority of the milk we drink comes from cows that are injected with steroids, hormones, and antibiotics. In the USA there is an acceptable level of rocket fuel that is considered OK for human consumption. Of course, this would be from the cows eating and drinking contaminated feed and water. I have read this info myself from several different sources.
If you love milk I recomend organic soymilk, unsweetened or flavored if you like. It's delicious, and it won't cause stomach issues.  



25 Nov 2008 @ 23:37 by Sinduja @121.246.13.44 : sad state
It is really sad that people are so misguided by the current concepts of nutrition. Personally I had always hated milk. It was tasty, no doubt, yet left me with a feeling of heaviness and lethargy in a short while. Today I know that is it because I am a Kapha type and diary products dont accept with me. I have not touched milk for the past few years. Yet, my entire family ridicules me and rebukes me for spoiling my health! My mother, a solid overweight Kapha herself, drinks glasses of milk everyday just because "people say" women need calcium and milk will only provide the best of it. If she had listened for a minute to what her body said, it will be a different story. We are all so disconnected!  


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