Nutrition: Barriers to Digestion
- Lactase is one of the many enzymes required for complete digestion of lactose (a disaccharide). - Lactose intolerance is not an allergy, and is not to be confused with a milk allergy, which initiates an immune reaction when milk is ingested. Lactose intolerance instead is an enzyme deficiency (lactase). - S/s including gas, bloating, cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people can ingest small amounts, and others none. Some can take small pills with lactase enzyme before they consume dairy products. - It’s rare for Caucasians to develop lactose intolerance, but common for Asians, Africans, Middle Eastern, and non-Caucasian Australians. - It is very common in adults (30 million American adults).
- Not having milk in the diet can lead to a shortage of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, and protein. You can get this by taking calcium supplements, eating foods that have more calcium (leafy greens, oysters, sardines, canned salmon, shrimp, and broccoli), and drinking orange juice with added calcium. It is possible to have a healthy diet without dairy products.
- Constipation is defined as a decrease in frequency of bowel movements from what is “normal” for the individual; hard, difficult-to-pass stools; a decrease in stool volume; and/or retention of feces in the rectum. - Constipation can be caused by insufficient dietary fiber, inadequate fluid intake, decreased physical activity, and ignoring defecation urge. Medications including opioids cause constipation as well as diseases slowing GI transit such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and MS. Depression and stress can also contribute. - Many cases of constipation can be prevented by increasing fiber, fluid intake, and exercise. Recommendations for constipation include laxatives and enemas, but overuse of these can lead to chronic constipation. Many patients experience an improvement in s/s when they increase fiber and fluids (3000ml/day)....
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