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Another ‘M” Word To Deal With As We Age

As I mentioned yesterday, two ‘M” words we dislike are Menopause and Metabolism.  I’m going to add another one to the list, Milk, or should I say Milk insensitivities. Did you know that as we age, lactose intolerance can occur? Maybe you have been experiencing some vague symptoms and have no idea that it is actually related to the cheese, ice cream, milk and other dairy foods you consume.

Here’s a fact I find interesting. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is common to develop a lactase deficiency in adulthood. In fact, about 65 percent of the global population has a reduced ability to digest lactose. Whoa! 65 percent!

Turns out, we are born with the ability to digest milk since we have an enzyme in our bodies called Lactase that helps to break down Lactose, the sugar in milk. But as we age, that enzyme declines and sugar enters our bowel undigested where now bacteria has to break it down causing bloat and other symptoms. Ugh!!! But makes sense, doesn’t it?


Signs and Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

These can occur up to 2 hours after drinking milk or dairy products

  • Abdominal bloating, pain, or cramps
  • Rumbling or gurgling sounds in your stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence, or gas
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting

So now what? Do you think that maybe you may be experiencing some insensitivity? I suggest eliminating milk based dairy products for a few weeks and see what changes you notice. I know it can be tough at first, but it can be done. Make note of symptoms you experience while eating/drinking milk and when you are avoiding it. You may be pleasantly surprised the difference in your system 😉

Sneaky Substitutions that Work for Me

  • Replace milk with unsweetened almond, coconut or cashew milks. They taste delicious and are healthier than skim or low fat milks. 
  • Sample goats cheese in lieu of cheddar, mozzarella or ricotta cheeses.
  • Use the milk substitutes while cooking recipes. No one will know the difference 😉

If you do decide to cut out dairy, be sure to supplement to make sure you are getting enough protein, calcium, Vit A, D and B12, as not having enough of these nutrients can lead to other issues like osteoporosis. Hmmm, sounds like a topic for my next session!

Some more info and helpful tips 

Cheers to finding a milk substitute that fits into your meal plan so you can enjoy foods you love and not feeling deprived. Got Almond Milk 😉