4 Biggest Challenges of Being Lactose Intolerant
By: Paige Jackson
Being lactose intolerant is a very unfortunate part of many people’s lives. It can drastically alter how one lives their life. A simple thing such as eating out at a restaurant is changed significantly for someone who is lactose intolerant. Sure, there are alternatives to milk, such as goat milk, but that only helps at home. Here are the top challenges of being lactose intolerant.
1. Not fitting in
This can be a significant issue for some people, especially those who do not seek attention. When eating out with co-workers or friends, if you have to ask for special treatment due to being intolerant to lactose, people often single you out. As people get to know you, they will often question you on whether or not you can eat something, which singles you out. There are also times of the year where you just can’t partake, such as Halloween or Easter. Halloween candy? Not likely. Chocolate bunnies? Nope. This can cause stress for those who just want to fit in with everyone else.
2. The temptations
Everyone has food that they simply can’t resist. Whether it is ice cream, chocolate, or pizza, there is always a food that is a temptation. This is especially difficult when the food is off-limits due to containing lactose. Even taking just a small amount of the desired food can cause severe reactions, basically eliminating the opportunity to ever have some of those favorite foods.
3. Lactose is hidden almost everywhere
When trying to eat completely lactose free, it becomes a challenge to know when or when not lactose exists in the foods that are being offered. When buying from the grocery store, it becomes a little easier, as most products will notify if there is dairy present. However, when going out for food at a restaurant or even a friend’s place, it is difficult to know what is in the food. A significant dependence is placed on the person serving the food and whether they know what ingredients they have used. This can be a source of frustration for those who are intolerant to lactose.
4. Reactions to lactose
The biggest challenge when being lactose intolerant is the physical reaction your body has to lactose. Depending on the severity of the intolerance, exposure to lactose can cause a person to be ill for several days. The symptoms include bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and excess gas. This can cause severe discomfort and embarrassing situations.