The experts at Gastroenterology Associate of Beverly Hills have new and unique technology called Lactose Intolerance Breath Test to help in diagnosing lactose intolerance. This testing is offered in very few gastroenterology practices, but is very helping with a definitive diagnosis of lactose intolerance.
The inability to digest lactose is called lactose intolerance or lactase deficiency. Lactose is the name of the sugar found in milk and all dairy products except for yogurt. The normal processing of milk and dairy products start with breaking the milk sugar, lactose, into to two simple and absorbable sugar molecules that is glucose and galactose. This process is done by the enzyme called lactase. There are people who do not have the enzyme or have less than normal levels of this enzyme or those who cannot digest it. Therefore, lactose stays in the gastrointestinal system and moves to the colon in an undigested form. It will then interact with normal intestinal bacteria and causes symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.
Factors that are involved with lactose intolerance are:
- Aging: Studies show that there is a higher risk of lactose intolerance with increased age.
- Race: It is more common in American-Indians, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.
- Premature birth: Prematurity increases the likelihood of lactose intolerance.
- Small intestinal disease: Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and celiac disease increase the likelihood of lactose intolerance.
Symptoms can include diarrhea, bloating, nausea, abdominal cramping and pain.
Based on the amount of lactose in food and each individual’s tolerance, the severity of symptoms can vary. Usually a patient determines the particular food that make the symptoms worse and will then seek treatment.
Diagnosis is done by a simple test called lactose intolerance breath test.
The treatment is based on the severity of intolerance, patient age and tolerance of condition. There is not a specific treatment to make body to produce the enzyme, lactase, but following a proper diet and possibly adding the enzyme, lactase may be helpful.
It is important to know that dairy products are a good source of calcium and omitting dairy from the diet can cause low levels of calcium in the body. It is advised to add other sources of calcium into the daily diet, such as green vegetables, yogurt, and fish.
Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.
We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions. We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind. Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.