Ten percent of Americans have some level of lactose intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance this means that your body is not able to effectively breakdown the dairy sugar lactose. Lactose is a dipeptide meaning that it is made up of the two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. In your digestive track the enzyme lactase is responsible to breaking the connection between glucose and galactose. Your body cannot do anything with these sugars until this bond is broken. If you can’t break this sugar bond the lactose will pass through your small intestines undigested. Once it hits your large intestine it causes you to be bloated in two different ways. This first has to do with the bacteria in your gut. The bacteria in your gut is essential for proper digestion and health but giving it lactose is like giving a toddler too much candy on Halloween – a recipe for disaster. The bacteria in your gut takes the lactose, ferments it, and through that process produces gas that causes you to feel bloated and your stomach to become distended. The other issue with lactose making it undigested to your large intestine is that is throws off the water balance causing water to be put into your large intestine (when functioning properly water is removed from your large intestine) causing further bloating and even diarrhea.
Lactose intolerance impacts different people at different levels of intensity. Some people cannot have any dairy while other can have yogurt or cheese but not milk. Reducing or avoiding your dairy intake it the best way to get rid of the lactose intolerance induced bloating. If you don’t want to get rid of your morning glass of milk or your post workout chocolate milk recovery shake then you’ll need to either take a supplemental lactase (available at any drug store) or purchase dairy products that have lactase already added to it (check out Lactaid brand dairy products). Either option will allow for the breakdown of lactose and your bloating issue will be solved.
[see: Milk Fat May Cause Bowel Disease By Altering Gut Bacteria >>>]