5 Important Signs You Are Lactose Intolerant

Do you worry that you could be lactose intolerant?

Maybe when you drink milk or eat products with milk in them, you end up feeling bloated or ill, and you wonder if the problem is with the ability to break down lactose.

According to Johns Hopkins University, being lactose intolerant is so common nowadays that it’s no longer a disorder. In fact, it is considered “normal” for adults to no longer be able to digest lactose as they age.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the key signs that you are lactose intolerant, as well as discuss what lactose actually is.

What is Lactose?

Before we discuss some of the signs that you are lactose intolerant, we should discuss what lactose is.

Lactose itself is a type of sugar found in most dairy products. As such, being lactose intolerant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allergic to dairy, as you can often find dairy products that have been produced free of it.

Some babies are born with congenital lactose intolerance, meaning their bodies are unable to break down the lactose in dairy products.

Most people who are lactose intolerant develop it over time. The human body breaks down lactose with an enzyme known as lactase. The cells in the lining of the small intestine are responsible for creating them.

As people age, their ability to produce lactase can wane, which will make them lactose intolerant.

Is It Serious?

Lactose intolerance is not necessarily serious, in that it is not an allergy to lactose. This means that you won’t need to carry around an EpiPen or another emergency device just because you’re allergic to lactose.

Instead, you’ll learn to avoid lactose strategically. This may include taking pills that block lactose before you eat food with lactose in it. It may also include modifying your diet so it is free of lactose.

Worry not, lactose intolerance itself is not fatal.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Below are some of the classic symptoms of lactose intolerance. This list, however, is not exhaustive and it is important if you experience these symptoms to see your doctor. Your doctor will need to rule out more serious GI disorders before diagnosing you with lactose intolerance.

1. Diarrhea That Last More Than Five Days

If you have diarrhea that lasts more than five days, especially frequently, it is possible that you are lactose intolerant. If this comes on just one time in your life, it is less likely an issue of lactose. But, if you have it often, lactose intolerance may be the culprit.

2. Stomach Pain That Gets Worse (or Sometimes Gets Better) When You Eat

If your stomach frequently hurts after eating dairy or products with lactose in it, looking into lactose intolerance as a cause is a good idea. For many people, this is the main symptom, and the pain can feel debilitating.

Stomach pain can also make you feel “bloated” or give you a full feeling, even when you haven’t eaten all that much.

3. You Feel Sick Even When You Eat Non-Dairy Foods

You may think you’re not lactose intolerant because you may often feel sick when you eat food that doesn’t contain lactose. While with some foods, it’s obvious you’re consuming it (i.e. with milk or cheese or yogurt), lactose sneaks its way into many types of foods.

As such, you may think you’re not lactose intolerant at all. But it is important to check the labels of everything you eat and ask at restaurants. You may believe you’re not lactose intolerant even when you are.

Pay attention to when you feel sick after meals and when you don’t. You may even want to keep a diary to help you make better judgments.

4. You’re Gassy

Along with feeling bloated, individuals who are lactose intolerant are also often quite gassy. But, there’s one catch for gas associated with lactose intolerance: it doesn’t have a smell.

So, if you’re gassy and making everyone around you feel sick, the problem is likely attributed to something else. But, if you’re gassy and no one else knows about it, it’s like due to lactose intolerance.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll usually get this feeling right after meals. It may last a little while, but it’ll come on as your food is digesting.

5. Age

The older you get, the more common it is to become lactose intolerant. Most people who don’t have it as a congenital condition begin to develop it after the age of 2. But, as your body ages, you may be one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t continue to make lactase in their small intestine.

Simply getting older can be a risk of lactose intolerance, so it’s important to note how your body is changing as you grow and change while you age.

Signs You Are Lactose Intolerant: Now You Know, What Do You Do About It?

If you think you’re lactose intolerant, your doctor can order one of two tests. One is a hydrogen breath test, and the other is a blood test to look at your blood sugar after you’ve eaten lactose. This will be able to help confirm or deny if lactose is the source of your stomach woes.

The signs you are lactose intolerant listed in this article are not exhaustive, but they present some of the most common symptoms. If you’re concerned about your health, you can schedule an appointment with 24/7 labs and keep your health on track.

how to test for gluten intolerance

9 Telltale Signs You Have A Gluten Intolerance

3.1 million Americans are currently following a gluten-free diet. But many people may be gluten intolerant and not even realize it. If you’ve been wondering if gluten has a negative impact on your body, this article is for you.

Read on to learn how to test for gluten intolerance, and the top signs you may need to cut gluten from your life. 

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein that’s found in barley, rye, and wheat. For people who have problems processing gluten, this protein triggers an immune response, and their body attacks their small intestine.

These constant attacks cause damage to the small intestine. This is a problem because it’s the small intestine’s job to help your body absorb nutrients. For people with Celiac disease, their bodies can’t process food when they eat gluten.

Approximately 1% of the worldwide population has Celiac Disease, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. And approximately 2.5 million Americans have Celiac Disease but are unaware. 

If your body has problems with gluten, you may have symptoms right after you eat a meal that’s heavy in gluten. However, you may also not experience symptoms for weeks after that meal. That’s why it can be difficult to know if you’ve got Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity.

Signs of Gluten Intolerance

If you’re constantly feeling unwell, there are many things it could be attributed to. But there are a few signs of gluten intolerance that you should know. Here are some of the telltale signs you could be sensitive to gluten:

1. Bloating

Bloating is one of the most common signs of gluten intolerance. It’s not normal to feel bloated every time you eat. The reason this happens is that gluten is causing inflammation in your digestive tract.

Gluten can even cause bloating for people who aren’t particularly sensitive to gluten. But if you have persistent bloating in your lower abdomen, it may be related to gluten intolerance. 

2. Diarrhea

This is another one of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance. If you’re constantly suffering from loose and/or watery stools, it may be related to the gluten you’re eating.

If you cut out gluten and you’re no longer running to the bathroom, you may be sensitive or intolerant to gluten. 

3. Fatigue 

If you’re constantly exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, this is also a symptom of gluten intolerance. 

Since gluten can damage your small intestine, your body can end up deficient in important vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies can also lead to fatigue and exhaustion.

4. Constipation

While many people suffer from diarrhea with celiac, constipation is one of the less-known symptoms. 

Out bodies have tiny projections called villi in our small intestines. Gluten intolerance damages these villi, which are responsible for nutrient absorption. As your food travels through your digestive tract, your villi can’t absorb these nutrients, and will often take extra moisture from your stool. This leads to constipation. 

5. Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis Herpetiformis is an itchy rash that typically occurs on your butt, knees, and elbows. It’s one of the telltale signs of celiac disease.

You may even notice this rash without any of the typical gastrointestinal symptoms that many people experience with gluten sensitivity. 

6. Canker Sores

Canker sores can be extremely painful and can make it difficult to eat, talk, and even swallow.  

These sores occur in the mouth and are common for people who have braces or are sensitive to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is found in toothpaste and shampoo. 

If you’re constantly suffering from canker sores and you’re using an SLS-free toothpaste, gluten may be the culprit. These are a sign of inflammation in your upper digestive tract. 

7. Migraines

There are many things that cause migraines, including chocolate, alcohol, cheese, menstruation, changes in the weather, and more. 

However, if you can’t pinpoint a common trigger for your migraines, they could be due to gluten sensitivity. People who are intolerant to gluten typically have more migraines than those who are not.

8. Endometriosis

Endometriosis leads to painful periods and can be debilitating for some women. One study found that 75% of women who had been diagnosed with endometriosis had a significant change in the wors of their symptoms after they went gluten-free for 12 months.

This is a massive statistic, so if you have endometriosis, a gluten-free diet could change your life.

9. Iron Deficiency

As mentioned people who are sensitive to gluten have problems absorbing nutrients. This can cause iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when you have a lack of red blood cells in your body.

If you’re deficient in iron, you may notice dizziness, headaches, chest pain, weakness, and fatigue. If you’re eating iron-rich foods and/or taking vitamins but you’re still deficient in iron, the problem may be caused by the gluten you’re eating.

How to Test for Gluten Intolerance

If you were nodding along while reading the above signs and symptoms, you may be gluten intolerant. Before cutting out gluten, it’s a good idea to get tested so you can be sure that this is your problem. 

A simple lab test can tell you whether you’re gluten intolerant, or if you have another issue that’s impacting your health. While gluten may very well be the problem, it’s important to get tested before you cut it out of your diet. 

Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthier than those with gluten and are often higher in sugars, fat, and sodium, and lower in nutrients. A simple blood test can tell you for sure if you have an issue with gluten. 

Wrapping up

If you’re gluten intolerant, you may have simply gotten used to always feeling sick, tired, and bloated.

You don’t need to live this way. A diagnosis can help you learn which foods to avoid, and help remove these signs and symptoms from your life. 

If you’re wondering how to test for gluten intolerance, we can help. Get in touch today to book an appointment and get the tests you need to regain your health.

 

 

Everything You Should Know About Roaches and Allergies

Nobody welcomes cockroaches into their home, but sometimes they sneak in anyway. These pests aren’t just unappealing; they pose major allergy and asthma risks due to their saliva, droppings, and skin shedding.

If you have allergy symptoms but can’t find the source, it’s possible that your home is one of the 63% of U.S. residences that contain cockroach allergens. Make sure you understand how to identify and diagnose your cockroach allergy so you can efficiently eliminate the source of your symptoms.

Why Do Allergies Develop?

There are certain substances in the environment, like ragweed in the fall and pollen in the spring, that can trigger the immune system to act as if it is fighting off a foreign invader. When the immune system jumps to action like that, it creates histamines in the bloodstream that create unpleasant reactions like coughing, nasal congestion, skin rash, wheezing, and ear and sinus infections.

Your Cockroach Allergy

The German cockroach is the most troublesome in homes and is directly associated with causing asthma and allergy symptoms, The American Cockroach, also known as the Palmetto Bug in the south, is just as common and problematic. Since roaches adapt easily to most environments and are attracted to the warmth of buildings and homes at night, it’s possible to suffer from roach allergies all year long.

The following symptoms indicate that you could have a roach infestation causing allergies to roach saliva, waste, and body parts:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Itchy, red, and watery eyes
  • Itchy skin or skin rash
  • Asthma conditions like chest tightness and difficulty breathing

Continue reading “Everything You Should Know About Roaches and Allergies”

A Quick Guide to Allergies

Allergies encompass so much more than just sneezing and itchy eyes. You might have food allergies, pet allergies, or seasonal allergies that cause uncomfortable symptoms or even put you in danger of severe reactions. Fortunately, lab tests can determine which specific allergies are causing your issues so you can seek the best treatment and finally feel comfortable again.

Food Allergies

A true food allergy can develop at any age when the body’s immune system overreacts and identifies an otherwise safe food as a danger, stimulating a response to fight the “dangerous” food away. About five percent of the population suffers from this type of allergy and must eliminate the foods that cause the allergic reactions. Continue reading “A Quick Guide to Allergies”