Many times people are confused between the two. This is because the symptoms are very similar to each other, however Lactose Intolerance and IBS are completely different.
Today I will clarify the difference between the two, as well determine which from the two you are suffering from, if not both.
Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include: flatulence (wind), diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps and nausea.
WHAT IS IBS?
A widespread condition involving recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation, often associated with stress, depression, anxiety, or previous intestinal infection.
HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE FROM THE TWO?
- Lactose Intolerance
Well one can do a simple test. If you think you are lactose intolerant, begin with a dairy-free test. Avoid milk and other dairy products for a period of five days. If the symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea disappear completely, then you are most likely lactose intolerant. A Hydrogen Breathe Test is a definite way to determine if you are lactose intolerant or not. A Hydrogen Breathe Test looks for a higher than normal amount of hydrogen in the breath, caused by extra gases produced by bacteria fermenting the undigested lactose in the stomach. This simple diagnosis can be determined only by visiting your local doctor.
If the symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea do not stop after doing the dairy test, then you are not lactose intolerant. There is a high chance that you may suffer from IBS. An IBS test is not as straight forward as the lactose intolerance test. IBS tests include: Medical history and physical exam, a blood test for celiac disease, complete blood count (CBC), Sedimentation rate- a check for inflammation in the body and a stool analysis. Please visit your local doctor for advise about these tests.
NB: It is possible to suffer from IBS and Lactose Intolerance. For further advice, contact your local doctor.
- Lactose Intolerance
There many ways to treat lactose intolerance. Firstly, avoiding dairy products completely. There are many alternatives to milk and other dairy products. Click here to learn about alternatives to milk and other dairy products. Modern science and technology has developed lactase in the the form of a pill to help you enjoy any dairy product without suffering the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Click here to learn about the lactase enzyme in the form a pill. Lastly, there a way to cure lactose intolerance. It a six month challenge (Its long! But it’s worth it). Click here to take the six month challenge.
IBS is not as simple as you think. IBS affects different individuals and different ways. Firstly, it is important to keep a food diary. In a food dairy, you must note down all the food you eat. Next to each food indicate if it causes any abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. This will allow you to determine which foods are good for you ease the symptoms of IBS:
Do you suffer from IBS or Lactose Intolerance or Both? What lifestyles changes have you made? I would love to hear from you by commenting below.