Several years ago, I used this space to highlight lactose intolerance, an issue
many older adults face. Due to some recent questions, I felt it was time, once
again, to share some anecdotes regarding this sometimes hidden problem.
Many of our elders enjoy milk, ice cream and other dairy
products. In general, dairy products can provide valuable nutrition and needed
calories, but dairy products contain lactose, a milk sugar that requires the enzyme
lactase for proper digestion. Even people who’ve enjoyed dairy products for
decades can gradually lose their ability to produce enough lactase to digest
milk or other dairy products. When this happens, abdominal discomfort and
diarrhea can result.