2. Diarrhea – The Unsettling Consequence of Lactose Malabsorption
Diarrhea is another common symptom experienced by lactose-intolerant individuals. When the body fails to digest lactose, it travels through the digestive system and enters the colon. Here, it draws water into the intestine, resulting in loose, watery stools. Diarrhea can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the amount of lactose consumed.
The onset of diarrhea typically occurs within a few hours of consuming lactose-containing foods. For some individuals, it may be a sporadic issue, while for others, it can be a frequent and disruptive problem. In more severe cases, diarrhea can lead to dehydration, making it crucial for individuals to replenish fluids and electrolytes.
To manage diarrhea associated with lactose intolerance, individuals can explore various dietary strategies. These may include reducing lactose consumption, choosing lactose-free alternatives, or using lactase supplements. Furthermore, maintaining a food diary can help identify specific triggers and patterns that contribute to diarrhea, allowing individuals to adjust their diets accordingly.
As with bloating, diarrhea can also be a symptom of other digestive disorders or conditions. If you continue to experience diarrhea despite managing your lactose intake, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. (2)