What causes lactose intolerance?

Before we understand how to fix something we have to know what caused the problem in the first place.

The body has a simple enough process. Everything we eat needs an enzyme to digest it.  If there are no enzymes we can experience many digestion issues such as bloating, gas and loose stools.

In the case of cow’s milk within the milk is a sugar called lactose and for the body to digest this it needs to produce the enzyme lactase.  When lactase meets lactose the digestion process works perfectly.

It makes sense then that lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of lactase.  The NHS website says that there is no cure for lactose intolerance. This simply means that doctors have no cure but that does not mean that there is no cure to be found. Let’s dig a little deeper to make some more sense out of this.  

What produces the enzyme lactase?  This is made from the bacteria acidophilus. So it makes sense that there must be a deficiency of this bacteria. What causes a deficiency of acidophilus?

  • The overuse of antibiotics – antibiotics kill off acidophilus and all other forms of good bacteria
  • Low stomach acid – For good bacteria to repopulate they rely upon the production of hydrochloric acid from the stomach. When a person has low stomach acid, good bacteria dwindle and eventually the person can become lactose intolerant

How do you fix lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is 100% fixable. The NHS state that it is not because they do not conduct any tests to identify low stomach acid and they do not prescribe any prescription medications to resolve it added to the fact that they continue to over prescribe antibiotics.  If you wish to fix lactose intolerance you need to think differently.

The first step is to check your stomach health.  A hair test analysis will allow you to see if you have low stomach acid. Other indications of low stomach acid can be feeling starving all the time/ seldom experiencing feeling full.  In other cases due to high levels of pepsin in the stomach these symptoms can be hidden.

Once low stomach acid has been identified, the use of hydrochloric acid supplements should be used with each meal. Once these are tolerated well, you should introduce a high strength probiotic to include acidophilus. In this way you will build up acidophilus once more and the use of hydrochloric acid will allow the good bacteria to repopulate allowing you to digest lactose once again.

Other options if you do not wish to resolve the underlying cause of lactose intolerance is to use ‘Lactase enzymes’ available from Holland & Barrett and many other health stores. Simply by taking 1 per meal you will ensure that lactose is digested.

Lactose intolerance is a health issue that is regularly resolved at this clinic.






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Elaine Mummery

Elaine Mummery

Having had acne clinics in both Glasgow and Knightsbridge, Elaine Mummery now runs a virtual clinic from her home in France.