If you are looking forward to hot days and cold ice cream this summer, chances are you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance. However, a surprising number of Americans do have this condition to some degree, with estimates putting the number between 30 and 50 million people. Lactose intolerance is an inability to properly digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This is due to a lack of the enzyme lactase in the digestive system. However, there is no set level of lactase that designates someone as lactose intolerant or not. In fact, people with the condition can tolerate wildly different amounts of dairy and may have much different symptoms. Knowing where you fall along the continuum is the key to getting the most out of dairy all year round.
Test for Lactose Intolerance
There are diagnostic test that you can get from your gastroenterologist to identify the condition. These lactose intolerance tests measure for signs of undigested lactose in your system. However, they aren’t generally used on children and the condition can onset at a young age. Knowing whether your child can handle dairy is important when deciding what cold treats they can have on summer days. Fortunately, you can identify the condition yourself by monitoring your child’s diet.
If your child experiences indigestion when eating dairy, keep a food diary to rule out other potential causes. If the evidence points to lactose intolerance, you can assess the extent of the condition by giving them small amounts of dairy and seeing if symptoms develop. Some people can handle one or two glasses of milk. Others are able to tolerate ice cream and hard cheeses, but not other forms of dairy. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to know.
Seek Lactose Intolerance Treatments
If you or your child is lactose intolerant, there are over-the-counter lactase compounds available to treat the symptoms and conditions of lactose intolerance. Just eat the compounds with the first bite of dairy, and the enzyme will break down the lactose in your digestive tract. Non-dairy substitutes – like those made from almonds or soy – are also a good option for getting much-needed calcium.
If you need help diagnosing lactose intolerance or are unsure of what over-the-counter products might be suitable for you, a visit to a gastroenterologist can help clear up any lingering questions. Dr. Tabib is very knowledgeable about the symptoms and conditions surrounding lactose intolerance and can help you find the answers you need.
A Colonoscopy Proves Efficiency with Lowest Rates in 10 years
According to a recent report published in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, colon cancer rates have fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in patients over the age of 50. We know that no one wants to get a colonoscopy, but with these phenomenal numbers, there really is a drawback from evading colon cancer screenings.
Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that allow doctors to screen for diseases right at the source. A colonoscopy is a procedure that inserts a flexible tube and mini-camera into the rectum to observe the colon for unusual growths, called polyps. If polyps are present, the physician removes them upon detection before they turn malignant.
Research shows that the number of Americans ages 50 to 64 who have undergone a colonoscopy has nearly tripled, increasing from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010. Statistics also showed a great increase during the same decade among people over the age of 65, jumping from 55 percent to 64 percent. Fortunately these numbers are expected to continue its rise and the American Cancer Society sets the goal of screening 80 percent of eligible patients by 2018.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the third most leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. with estimates of 136,000 Americans to be diagnosed this year. It is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These can also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer depending where they are found. If cancer cells are discovered in polyps then they eventually grow into blood vessels or lymph vessels. Once cancer cells spread into these vessels they become mobile and travel into nearby lymph nodes or distant body organs such as the liver.
How Does a Colonoscopy Help?
The most effective prevention method of colon cancer is by way of screening through a colonoscopy. Early detection and removal of colorectal polyps before they turn cancerous has shown a significant decline in colon cancer deaths. There are other less invasive forms of treatment, but a colonoscopy may still be needed if early testing cannot determine malignant polyps.
With the heavy increase of colonoscopy screenings, brings the most exciting news, a decline in colon cancer rates. In the most recent years, the annual rate of colon cancer detection fell by 7.2 percent a year from 2008 to 2010.
If you are approaching the age of 50, you may be recommended for a colonoscopy. The importance of this study is that people are finally getting the message – colon cancer can be prevented with early detection. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the colonoscopy in our Beverly Hills office.