5 myths about lactose intolerance
Updated: Jan 18
Lactose intolerance is a word that everybody has heard, but it is still mysterious to many. We are going to tackle 5 of the most common myths and misconceptions.
Lactose intolerance didn’t exist 20 years ago
Surely you have already heard people say “lactose and gluten intolerance and all this cr*p is only a hype to sell more”. Lactose intolerance has only started to appear in our conversations in the last few years. And that’s because the knowledge about this still quite mysterious condition has increased a lot in the last years. That doesn’t mean that the condition didn’t exist 20 years ago. We are lucky that science and research have evolved to help us put a name on symptoms that people have experienced for decades.
Lactose intolerance is a milk allergy
An intolerance and an allergy are two different things. While there are people who are allergic to milk and dairy, they are not necessarily lactose intolerant. An allergy is a reaction of the immune system against a certain substance. An intolerance – in our case lactose – is the inability of the body to process that aliment. The body doesn’t produce enough lactase – the enzyme that breaks down lactose into sugar – and therefore you will feel symptoms when the undigested lactose transits in your intestines.
The only symptom of lactose intolerance is bloating
Yes and no. Bloating is definitely the most common symptom appearing in people with lactose intolerance, but it’s by far not the only one. The list is long and the frequency varies: Gases, Diarrhoea, Constipation, Eczema and even Depression.
I’m intolerant – I need to cut out all diary
That's entirely up to you, but you definitely have options that you can explore before cutting diary out completely. A lot of supermarkets now offer lactose-free products, which are regular products where the manufacturer has added the lactase enzyme to cut out the lactose before you ingest the product.
You can also decide to try taking lactase supplements before having lactose to help you digest it. If you want to give it a try, head over to our shop and have a look at our lactase pills.
Dairy is only present in milk, yogurt, cheese and crème
That’s what you would think and hope! Unfortunately lactose is hiding in many products where you would not expect to find it. The most surprising ones being sausages, cornflakes, protein shakes or medicine. It can seem easy at first to avoid dairy, but it is not a simple task. Manufacturers love to add milk powder to their industrial products to make them smoother. Pharma companies add it in pills to help them hold the active substances together.