Kolkata: Do you know someone who reports/ complains of nausea or bloating after having milk? They might be lactose intolerant, a condition where human body stops producing (or does not make enough) Lactase (a.k.a.b-galactosidase), an enzyme that is required to digest Lactose which is a natural carbohydrate present in milk. This may hinder digestion post consumption of milk and other dairy products.
The survey titled ‘Lactose Intolerance – Kolkata Incidence’ by Crownit, gauges the incidence of lactose intolerant population in Kolkata and presents an in-depth insight of the demographic profile of people reporting lactose intolerance.
The mobile-based online survey which was an attempt to understand the challenges among people who suffer from indigestion caused due to milk in Kolkata, reveals that around 1 in every 3 households in Kolkata has atleast 1 family member who believe that they are lactose intolerant.
The survey reports that people who believe to face Lactose Intolerance issues exhibit symptoms like nausea, bloating, vomiting, etc. after consuming milk. Furthermore, 31% of these households have limited/ stopped their milk consumption due to this condition.
The exclusion of milk from diet results in health problems, for example 59% of them report facing problems related to health like calcium deficiency, vitamin deficiency, etc. while many are prone to bone health issues.
A significant number of people (70% of lactose intolerant households) have consulted doctors regarding lactose intolerance and 39% of them have faced difficulty in finding milk substitutes.
The prevalence of Lactose Intolerance is found among people of all age groups. However, in case of children facing this issue, the anxiety among parents is high as they tend to get worried as lesser/reduced milk consumption might lead to nutritional deficiencies affecting their children’s growth. In case of adults, they tend to limit/stop their milk consumption and switch to other substitutes/ alternatives.
The alternatives available for such people are either to purchase milk that is Lactose free or to choose plant-based milk. Both options today are costlier than a pack of regular pouch of milk and also not widely available.