Crohn’s disease and lactose intolerance share many of the same symptoms. You might think you have one condition when you really have the other. Also, Crohn’s is a reasonably unusual disease. A doctor might initially mistake its symptoms for the a lot more typical lactose intolerance.
What are Crohn’s Disease and Lactose Intolerance?
Studies have revealed that those with Crohn’s disease have a greater occurrence of lactose intolerance than the general population. Still, a diagnosis of Crohn’s doesn’t necessarily indicate you will establish lactose intolerance.
More research about this disease is essential. Scientists aren’t sure how it begins, who is most likely to establish it, or how to best treat it. Regardless of significant advances in treatment in the last three years, no remedy is readily available for Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease most typically happens in the small intestine and the colon. The disease can affect any part of your intestinal (GI) tract, from your mouth to your anus. The disease can involve some parts of the GI tract and avoid other parts.
What might be mild or irritating for some can be painful and disabling for others. The symptoms differ and can change in time. In some individuals, the disease can result in lethal complications.
Crohn’s disease is a serious and chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can cause serious disease or disability if left without treatment. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is a condition that you can easily treat. It may best be described as a problem. It’s very important to know the difference in between the two so that you can get the correct treatment.
Lactose intolerance, likewise referred to as lactase shortage, is due to an individual’s inability to produce adequate (or any) of the lactase enzyme in the small intestine. This enzyme absorbs lactose, a sugar discovered in dairy products.
Lactase breaks down the lactose into a set of easier sugars: glucose and galactose. Both sugars absorb quickly through the small intestine and release into the blood stream. If somebody does not have adequate lactase, however, the small intestine can just digest a part of the lactose.
The undigested lactose continues down through the small intestine and into the colon where bacteria work on the sugars in a process called fermentation. Many people with lactose intolerance can digest a minimum of some lactose, however how much depends upon the quantity of lactase in their bodies.
Contrary to common belief, lactose intolerance isn’t really a type of food allergy.
Who is at Risk for Lactose Intolerance?
s lots of people age, they begin to lose a few of their lactase enzymes, making them less able to absorb foods consisting of lactose. The condition is more common in those of Asian and African descent than Caucasians, as well as in Jewish individuals over people who are not Jewish. Lactose intolerance is likewise more typical in those with Crohn’s disease than those without, but doesn’t cause the health problem.
It’s also essential to keep in mind that lactose intolerance is not damaging– even for those struggling with Crohn’s disease — although it may contribute to a person’s discomfort.
For some individuals, the lactase enzyme may be inducible. This suggests that if an individual regularly surpasses the amount of lactose they can generally endure, their body might respond by increasing the quantity of lactase it produces.
What are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?
As the undigested lactose takes a trip through the small intestine, it attracts water through osmosis.
This excess water is responsible for the cramps and diarrhea often connected with the condition.
Other symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- abdominal pain
- extreme flatulence (gas).
These symptoms happen during the fermentation procedure in the colon. As the bacteria act upon the lactose, it turns into an acid, which then produces gas.
In addition to the other symptoms, the acid might cause anal burning also.
What are the Key Differences Between Lactose Intolerance and Crohn’s Disease?
Like lactose intolerance, cramping and consistent diarrhea normally accompany Crohn’s disease. Nevertheless, a person with Crohn’s may also discover blood or mucus in the stool. Other symptoms of Crohn’s that aren’t generally found with lactose intolerance are a loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, fever, tiredness, and anemia.
Crohn’s disease might go into remission for weeks or months at a time with few or no symptoms. A person with lactose intolerance will experience symptoms each time they consume dairy products.
How is Lactose Intolerance Diagnosed?
The most convenient way to diagnose lactose intolerance is to prevent dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream and see if the symptoms go away. If, after one week, you take in a glass of milk and the cramps and diarrhea return, it’s highly most likely you are lactose intolerant.
Another more objective way to test for lactose intolerance is to have a doctor order a lactose breath test. When lactose metabolizes in the colon, the bacteria will launch hydrogen into the blood stream that can then be determined in the breath.
What are the Treatments for Lactose Intolerance?
Currently, there are just two methods to treat lactose intolerance. You can prevent dairy products totally, or you can take in additional lactase enzymes in the form of an over the counter supplement such as Lactaid. Furthermore, people who quit dairy may have to supplement their diets with vitamin D and calcium, by taking additional tablets.