You’re not alone if you’ve been victim to excruciating abdominal pain after enjoying a seemingly harmless slice of Margherita pizza. Several people suffer from a condition coined as lactose intolerance, and unfortunately, many remain in the shadows regarding their ailment.
This type of intolerance is common, however, its symptoms are often mistaken for other health conditions. This then leads to the intolerance being left undiagnosed and untreated which can cause further and more serious health issues.
This article will discuss some of the lactose intolerance tests that are available to you, and what to expect from them.
What Is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a digestive condition in which individuals cannot produce adequate amounts of the enzyme that digests lactose. Lactase, the chemical, breaks down the lactose sugar into simpler molecules. This makes them more accessible for the body to absorb.
Most foods contain lactose, including:
- Dairy foods
- Processed items
The intensities of the symptoms experienced may vary from person to person. However, they mostly range from stomach discomfort to extreme abdominal pain and bloating.
What is a Lactose Test?
This is a method that medical professionals use to diagnose the condition. Since the signs of lactose intolerance are often confused for other digestive disorders, a lactose test is essential for accurate diagnosis.
Three main types of testing methods used are:
Your physician will use this test to compare hydrogen levels in your breath after lactose consumption with your baseline value.
This process entails several periodic blood work samples to monitor glucose levels in your blood.
Although only limited to toddlers and infants, the stool test checks for acidity from stool samples.
What to Expect During Your Test
Before visiting your doctor’s office, it’s essential to be informed and know what to expect before the test begins.
- First, you will fill up a balloon by breathing into it
- Your GP checks for baseline hydrogen levels
- Next, you will drink a lactose-containing slurry
- Now you’ll blow up the balloon a couple more times
- Your GP monitors hydrogen levels over a span of a few hours
- A blood sample is extracted using a syringe needle and filled into a test tube.
- Baseline glucose levels are checked
- You often wait 1-2 weeks for results
- A sample of your child’s stool is taken
- Tested in the lab for pH levels
Things to Keep in Mind Before Getting Tested
Before you acquire your intolerance test, it is important to understand what you should avoid beforehand to ensure you receive the most accurate result.
You should avoid any food or drink at least eight hours before you carry out the test so that this doesn’t alter any results. You should also avoid smoking or partaking in any strenuous activity.
The quicker you receive your test, the quicker you can be officially diagnosed, which means you can immediately start to make changes to your diet to avoid any more flare-ups and potential health issues from occurring.