NOV 30, 2017 3:09 PM PST

So you think you're lactose intolerant?


Are you feeling bloated and crampy after your normal milk and cereal in the morning? Have you ever thought that you might be lactose-intolerant? According to the National Institutes of Health, the fact is some 50-65% of people aren't able to properly digest the sugar found in milk called lactose. Most of us have the ability to digest lactose when we're babies because we have an enzyme (called lactase) that helps us. But for many of us, as we get older our lactase enzymes decline and digesting lactose subsequently becomes much more difficult (or painful!).

According to the NIH, your genetic makeup has a big influence on whether you have a lactose intolerance, with people of East African, West African, Arab, Jewish, Greek, and Italian descent more likely to experience some sort of lactose intolerance in adulthood. But if you've had any sort of injury or trauma to your small intestine, you may also experience an intolerance to lactose.

If you're questioning whether your lactose intolerant, an easy way to find out is to cut out dairy and see how you feel and if your symptoms go away. Want to learn more? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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