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223 N. Van Dien Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Mailing Address:
The Valley Hospital
223 N. Van Dien Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Healthy Bites: June 2015

Helpful Supplements, but not for all.

Lactose Intolerance = Lactase Deficiency

People who are lactose intolerant don't make enough lactase enzymes, in the small intestine to digest lactose. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and dairy products. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are diarrhea, bloating and gas. For those individuals with this condition, there are several options; one being a digestive enzyme in the form of a supplement. These supplemental enzymes break apart lactose (the sugar molecule) in to two smaller, digestible sugar molecules (galactose and glucose).

There's no cure for lactose intolerance, but it is easily managed. The goal for people who are lactose intolerant is to prevent symptoms from occurring. This can be achieved by:

  • Being aware of what foods contain lactose. Note that some dairy foods are better tolerated than others, such as yogurt and other fermented dairy products, and hard, aged cheeses.
  • Observing the amount of lactose you eat to determine your level of tolerance.
  • Taking a lactase supplement before eating dairy products.
  • Choosing lactose free dairy products.

Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

A new product on the market, that claims to digest gluten, which is the protein found in wheat has emerged and should be used with caution. While these enzymes may help some people with a ‘gluten sensitivity’, they are NOT recommended for people with diagnosed Celiac Disease. A strict gluten free diet is the current treatment for people with Celiac Disease, to avoid long term complications. If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to additional serious health problems including the development of other autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, short stature, and intestinal cancers.

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