Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can be healthy and delicious components of your regular diet. If you are on an elderly care journey with a senior who suffers from lactose intolerance, however, these foods can cause a variety of unpleasant issues. It is very important to differentiate between lactose intolerance and a milk allergy. A milk allergy is an actual allergic reaction to milk and results in the same types of reactions that you might experience when exposed to another allergen. These reactions might include sneezing, development of hives, and even difficulty breathing. Lactose intolerance, however, is the inability to properly digest the lactose. This is a natural sugar in milk and milk products digested by an enzyme within the body called lactase.
People who are lactose intolerant have a deficiency in lactase. This makes it so that the body cannot digest the lactose in these foods.
This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
These symptoms can appear very quickly, but they generally appear between about half an hour and two hours after consuming the food with lactose. Though some instance of lactose intolerance are very severe, most people are able to consume a small amount of dairy products without having issues.
Use these tips to help you create an elderly care approach tailored to help your parent cope with lactose intolerance:
For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable elder care in La Jolla, CA, and the surrounding communities.