There’s no quick-fix treatment for lactose intolerance. Most people manage it by making changes in their diet.
The number one method to avoid any signs of lactose intolerance is just to avoid lactose!7 Avoid eating or drinking foods that you know trigger your stomach symptoms. You may find that you can tolerate some brands of a product (like your store-brand salad dressing) but not others. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what works for you.
It’s also possible to find lactose-reduced and lactose-free products. You can find lactose-free cheeses, yogurts and even milk in most grocery stores. They should not cause any signs of intolerance.8
Lactose-free products don’t have lactose removed from them, they just have lactase added. The lactose breaks down into simpler, sweeter sugars. This is why many people prefer the taste of lactose-free milk to regular cow’s milk.
Of course, some products don’t have lactose-free alternatives. But don’t give up! You can use lactase tablets before taking anything that causes lactose intolerance. Lactase tablets contain the lactase enzyme, to help break down lactose for you. You can purchase lactase tablets without a prescription. They come available in a few different strengths, and you can even find chewable tablets. You’ll have to experiment a bit to find out how many tablets you need to take to safely tolerate different foods. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you’re interested in trying out lactase tablets.
Lactose is the sugar in milk. Lactase is what helps break down and digest lactose.
If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can purchase your own lactase drops from a local pharmacy and add it to regular milk. After letting the milk sit with the lactase (usually for about 24 hours), you’ll have made your own lactose-free milk!
Did You Know?
Some people find they have less symptoms if they take their dairy as part of a larger meal, instead of alone.6 If your intolerance isn’t severe and you’re taking only a small amount of dairy, try giving it a shot!