Is it possible to cure lactose intolerance? Theories differ!
Opinions differ as to whether we can cure lactose intolerance, or not. We can anticipate that we cannot clarify this question in every respect. But let’s take a closer look at the topic:
Congenital or acquired, that is the question!
Considerations regarding a possible cure always include the question of whether lactose intolerance is innate or acquired.
We cannot determine this from the symptoms or their severity. The point in time when the first signs appear make clearer indication.
The earlier uncomfortable symptoms appear after consuming lactose-containing products, the more likely you deal with an inherited form. A genetic test can ultimately confirm the suspicion.
Lactose intolerance arises in the course of life due to the interplay of different factors. Other intolerances or inflammatory bowel diseases often play a decisive role.
Long-term use of antibiotics or chemotherapy can also have a negative effect on the production of lactase and lead to lactose intolerance.
Genetically determined lactose intolerance: no prospect of healing
To clarify the question of the curability of lactose intolerance, it is relevant whether the intolerance to lactose is genetically determined or acquired.
A genetically determined form makes the prospect of healing impossible.
Since the reduced or missing activity of lactase (see also: Lactase preparations – useful for lactose intolerance?) is hereditary, it is in no way long-term in this case.
The only option that remains, and gives good results, involves an appropriate therapy for intolerance.
This is always associated with the waiver of lactose-containing products.
Depending on the personal tolerance limit, a correspondingly strong reduction must take place in the long run.
Healing for acquired lactose intolerance?
Things are different with acquired lactose intolerance, whereby I must mention that opinions differ somewhat here.
In certain cases, lactose intolerance is self-evident if causal components (e.g. other intolerances, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc.) have been eliminated or treated at a good level.
So it is quite possible that, with the correct treatment of original diseases, a previous lactose intolerance will quickly become a thing of the past.
The intestinal mucosa regenerates and the body can again produce enough lactase for the necessary breakdown of milk sugar.
If you can tolerate lactose again to the appropriate extent without symptoms, it might happen that those affected can book such an improvement for themselves under “healing”.
However, there are divided opinions among experts. A complete decrease in the symptoms of acquired lactose intolerance is recognized as such. However, the medical profession is reluctant to speak of a cure in the actual sense.
Rather, it indicates that lactose intolerance is symptom-free or inactive/dormant. In fact, should the basic problem flare up again, it is not uncommon that lactose intolerance will also return.
We can, therefore, primarily classify lactose intolerance that has already existed as treatable, but not curable. Freedom from symptoms does generally reluctantly equate with healing.
Another approach: lactose intolerance as normal
A scientifically equally widespread thesis, when it comes to the curability of acquired lactose intolerance, is that the intolerance is not a disease in the actual sense, but is, in a way, normalcy.
Sufficiently active lactase is required primarily in infancy and childhood. With increasing age, production automatically drops.
In principle, nature does not provide for milk to be supplied in large quantities after these first years.
Wherever this is the case (mainly in Western society), genetics have adapted. In a sense, the ability to break down high doses of milk sugar as an adult is unusual.
Lactose intolerance, with regard to the world population, actually becomes normal from a certain age.
Against this background (lactose intolerant = normal), the question of the curability of acquired lactose intolerance is of course also raised to absurdity.
Genetic lactose intolerance is not curable.
With correct treatment (waiver or restriction of lactose-containing products), however, one can achieve relative freedom from symptoms.
Uniform opinion as to whether acquired lactose intolerance is curable or not, do not exist. Nevertheless, especially from a medical point of view, a tendency to attest to the intolerance with correct treatment and good prognoses (freedom from symptoms) remains, but NOT to speak of curability.
We must concede that those affected can feel the freedom from symptoms as a cure. This is usually the case when the intolerance decreases again through suitable therapies for primary diseases that have favored lactose intolerance.
In addition, science is also discussing to what extent an acquired lactose intolerance, in relation to the world population, is not normal and not a disease value. Against this background, the question of curability remains obsolete.
It’s your turn to have your say. What do you think – Can we cure lactose intolerance, or not? Share your thoughts, tips and experiences with us i a comment below. We are always looking forward to reading your interesting contributions.
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