When your gut functions healthily and effectively, it digests food and liquid with a minimum of fuss, then moves it on down the line into your intestines for elimination. You know when things are working as they should, because you’re probably not even aware of it. On the other hand, when things go awry in the digestive department you definitely feel it.
Gastro or intolerance? Know the difference.
If you get stomach upsets only occasionally, it could be food poisoning or the dreaded gastro that does the rounds every so often. But if you find it’s happening frequently, you might want to see your GP or look at your diet to see if something’s triggering a reaction, commonly known as an intolerance. One of the most common dietary intolerances people have is to lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. So we asked Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian Chloe McLeod for her expert advice on how to spot a lactose intolerance, and what you can do to help alleviate the symptoms.
Chloe, what are the signs I should look for?
CM: The most common signs of lactose intolerance are bloating, discomfort, wind and diarrhoea. In some cases, you could also have cramping and vomiting.
When would I expect to see these symptoms?
CM: You would usually notice the onset of these symptoms between 30 minutes and two hours after drinking milk or eating dairy products.
What exactly causes lactose intolerance?
CM: Lactose intolerance occurs when there is a lack of production of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose. This causes lactose to not absorb properly and ferment in the gut.
Can it be cured?
CM: Lactose intolerance cannot be cured, though sensitivity may change over time.
And if I am lactose intolerant, what can I do about it?
CM: If you do discover you have lactose intolerance, the first step towards a happier, calmer tummy is to reduce your consumption of foods that contain lactose, such as milk, cream and custard. It sounds like bad news for your morning smoothie, but it’s not. If you love dairy, don’t despair because you can still get all the vitamins, minerals and goodness of the dairy foods you love, minus the lactose!
Pauls Zymil is real milk minus the lactose, so it ticks all the boxes for people with lactose intolerance. Rich in calcium, Zymil is simply milk that is easy to digest*. It even feels lighter in the stomach, so you can enjoy more of it without that heavy, weighed-down feeling.
The Zymil range includes full fat, low fat and skim milk, choccy and strawberry milk, custard, natural yoghurt and cream (hello, pavlova!) so they have you and your tummy well and truly covered. There’s a long-life version too.
You don’t have to suffer through discomfort and bloating. Check out the whole range of Zymil products here and you can look forward to a calmer, happier tum from here on in.
*As part of a healthy and varied diet, consuming Zymil products instead of regular dairy products helps to ease digestion in those who are sensitive to lactose