Can Secondary Lactose Intolerance Be Cured?
Hello, I’m a 19-year-old woman. In December yesterday, I was poisoned by food, at that time I ate raw sushi, then two hours later I felt nauseous and diarrhea. In one day I can defecate 10 times, for 4 days. From this incident, every time I drink milk my stomach is bloated because of gas, diarrhea, and nausea. My stools and belching smell like stale milk. Now I am trying to avoid dairy products, with the aim of resting my stomach and in the hope that I can drink more milk. Because after I read the article about secondary lactose intolerance, all suggested to stop drinking milk for several weeks or several months. But are the things I do right? And will I be able to consume food and drinks containing milk again in the future? I really like to drink milk. thanks.
Hello, Annisa Nurizki Fitri, thank you for asking HealthReplies.com.
Lactose intolerance is a condition where the body cannot digest lactose (a form of sugar found in milk and its processed products). Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of the enzyme lactase which functions to digest lactose. There is a primary lactose intolerance (inherited by the family) or secondary because there is an underlying disease, such as gastroenteritis, long-term use of antibiotics, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc.
The symptoms that occur to you are similar to those of lactose intolerance, but please note that these symptoms can also be found in other conditions, for example in gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) due to poisoning or infection with viruses, bacteria, parasites; celiac disease; irritable bowel syndrome; etc. So to determine the exact cause of your symptoms, you should do a series of examinations, from a physical examination by a doctor to supporting examinations such as a complete blood test, stool analysis, stool acidity test, lactose tolerance test, hydrogen levels test, etc. Treatment depends on the cause. In lactose intolerance, there is no specific treatment that can increase the enzyme lactase, so sufferers must limit or avoid products that contain lactose. Secondary lactose intolerance can be temporary or permanent depending on the underlying cause.
So, our suggestion is to check with your doctor so you can know the exact cause of your symptoms. In addition, avoid foods / drinks that can trigger symptoms, in this case if you suspect dairy products as the cause then to be safe you can avoid dairy products while looking for the cause of your symptoms. Keep food / drink / cutlery clean, wash hands with soap before and after meals, and ensure the maturity of food / drinks. Prevent dehydration by consuming ORS every time you defecate watery / soft.
If the condition does not improve, or is accompanied by symptoms such as unbearable abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, fever, vomiting, weakness, no appetite, immediately see a doctor to seek help.
That's all, hopefully it's useful.