Lactose intolerance is very common with an estimated 30 to 50 million Americans suffering from such condition. Some cases of the intolerance are temporary and considered a side effect of some medications such as antibiotics which can disturb the body’s ability to produce the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose.
Infections such as those caused by salmonella can also cause temporary lactose intolerance. This cause is particularly common in children, but will usually resolve itself in a few days or weeks.
Those suffering from problems involving the digestive tract such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Celiac disease and Cohn’s disease can have a reduced level of the enzyme lactase, which is the cause of such intolerance.
Many older people suffer with this condition simply due to aging and the body not producing sufficient lactase.
Patients do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase which is responsible for breaking down the lactose in the digestive system, this means that lactose can sit undigested in the stomach causing gas, bloating and stomach cramps. The inability of the intestine to absorb foods containing lactose leads to diarrhea, green diarrhea is very common in people suffering from this health problem.
Some of the symptoms include;-
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal cramps
- Diarrhea – often green in color
While there isn’t a cure for lactose intolerance adjustments to the diet, avoiding foods high in lactose will help with the symptoms and reduce the instances of green diarrhea often associated with the condition.
Many processed foods can contain lactose and while some producers may print a warning on the packaging many other don’t so it is important to check the list of ingredients. Degrees of such condition varies from person to person and in some cases a person is able to digest lactose in some forms but not others, for example they may be able to eat yoghurt with no problems, but cheese may cause bouts of green bright poop.
Milk and dairy products are the major source of lactose, lactose is the sugar contained naturally in milk which is broken down by lactase into glucose and galactose which is then absorbed into the blood stream and stored as energy by the body.
Many people with this intolerance have problems with their calcium levels and may decide to supplement their diet with multivitamins; this can lead to further problems with green diarrhea as many multivitamin supplements also contain iron a known cause of green colored feces.
There are lactose free products available on the market and they can be helpful for a lot of people.
If you suspect you may have lactose intolerance your doctor is able to carry out some simple tests in order to offer a diagnosis.
It should be noted that not all causes of green diarrhea are due to the condition if you suffer with frequent instances of green stools it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a professionally qualified doctor, who should be able to give you a firm diagnosis and advice regarding treatment.