Lactose Intolerance in the Elderly: How to Manage Digestive Symptoms
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. It is caused by a lack of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose. Lactose intolerance is common in adults, and it is more common in older adults.
There are many symptoms of lactose intolerance, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms can be mild or severe, and they can occur after eating or drinking dairy products.
There are a few things that older adults can do to manage the symptoms of lactose intolerance. One is to avoid dairy products altogether. Another is to choose lactose-free dairy products. There are also a number of over-the-counter medications that can help to reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
In addition to avoiding dairy products, older adults can also manage their digestive health by eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. They should also drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
If you are an older adult who is experiencing digestive problems, it is important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you to determine the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan.
Here are some other tips for managing lactose intolerance in the elderly:
- Eat smaller meals more often.
- Try taking lactase enzyme supplements before eating dairy products.
- Cook dairy products before eating them.
- Choose aged cheeses, which are lower in lactose.
- Add yogurt to smoothies or cooked dishes.
- Use lactose-free milk and dairy products.
If you are lactose intolerant, it is important to work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you. With proper management, you can still enjoy dairy products and maintain a healthy digestive system.