Evi, 17 yrs
When I was told that I had lactose intolerance, I didn’t really worry. But I felt a little sad… Well, I loved cheese! What is pasta without cheese? Toast with no cheese is not real… However, I now know that I am not alone – a lot of people, at all ages may develop lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is not so rare. About 65% of adults have it worldwide, while in Greece it is estimated that 30% of kids < 5 yrs develop it at some time, with the numbers getting up before puberty!
My doctor explained the situation : there is a difficulty in lactose metabolism due to the malfunction of an enzyme (lactase). Lactose is the main sugar component of milk. Symptoms that occur may be bloating, difficulty in digesting, increased gas, abdominal pain and in some cases diarrhea.
Some diet changes are recommended, excluding milk products from everyday intake (meaning milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and other products having hidden lactose). It is important to practice label careful reading, in order to spot hidden lactose!.
Milk products can be replaced with vegan substitutes:
- almond milk, vegan yogurt, soya, coconut milk
- even vegan ice cream!
Calcium, a valuable element in milk that helps us built strong and healthy bones, can be found and consumed in food such as almonds, salmon, sardines, dried figs, and small fishes with bones, beans, etc
I have adjusted to these changes in my diet, my stomach does not hurt anymore and bloating has gone – I feel confident and comfortable in my clothes. I can now enjoy my life, my school, my walks, my vacations even without my favorite… cheese !!🧀😉