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Do you feel bloated after drinking yoghurt, or do you feel discomfort when you drink a glass of milk? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are probably lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is the body's inability to digest lactose. It is caused by insufficient or no production of the enzyme lactase, which breaks it down so that it can be absorbed, transported into the bloodstream and used as a nutrient.
Between 30 and 50% of the Spanish population suffers from lactose intolerance.
Lactose is a sugar that is present in milk and in different industrial products such as preservatives, which may be included in sausages or ready meals.
Types of intolerance:
2 main types of lactose intolerance can be distinguished:
For many years, people suffering from lactose intolerance had to avoid eating dairy and dairy products, with the risk of reducing the intake of essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and some vitamins, weakening the natural mineralisation of the bones.
For many years, the main treatment was to eliminate the intolerant foods from the diet. Even so, if dairy products are no longer consumed, deficiencies of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus can occur, the deficiency of which can lead to long-term health problems such as osteoporosis. Nowadays, food supplements have been developed based on lactase, which helps digest lactose in people who have difficulty digesting it.