Let’s talk about it, but please don’t read if you’re squeamish or presently eating.
Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk.
The body can’t produce the lactase enzyme to break it down through the intestines. This then leads to a result of all or one of these reactions: diarrhoea, bloating and gas (often painful).
I don’t think many people understand the full length of it, but it varies in intensity within individuals. When I was around 17/18 I think, is when it all started and September 2015 was the last time I could have any form of pure dairy product (lactose). I have friends that have it easier, some people have grown out of it and some people have grown into it (like me). I have a belief that one day, it’ll save me and everyone may get ill at a conference or something and I’ll be asked to step in. You know, something dramatic like that.
There are pills you can take but I don’t trust them after a kid at camp took 2 pills, had a milkshake and they needed to stop for an hour at a coach station because he HAD TO RELEASE. I laughed because I know that some things you should just leave alone. I kind of test it out every year though to know my sensitivity, if it’s gotten worse and my time frame to get home and assume the position. In 2014 I took farce and tried an incredible carrot cake, an hour later I was home on the floor in pain rolling. A furnace was in my belly, I was hot, I bloated up and that caused pain. I cried and got my brother to bring me some tea as I saw stars and the gaseous nebula’s continued to release in that unknowing toilet. I learned that day to never go hard or go home with testing my lactose intolerance.
When I go to restaurants I can’t order dessert, don’t even tell me to order fruits that they bought at wholesale and want to charge a £5 premium for washing and cutting it with the same water that flows through my pipes, no boo, no! I do save money though but I miss desert. It’s actually my favourite meal, I ate lactose free cake for my 24th birthday breakfast because it’s one of two occasions a year in which I eat lacto-free cakes.
If I do have a product that has some lactose, I bloat up and if I’m going out in public I milk that fat belly and claim pregnancy to get a seat on the bus/train/plane waiting area etc. I do have to be careful when I’m in other countries and travelling, I tend to eat healthily before flights so I’m completely clear for my journey. Upon arrival I tend to have the word/phrase for milk ready or my Google translate screenshot waiting, I have to ask insistently to ensure my trip goes well. One never wants to have an accident in public, trust me, my gosh it’s better to be annoying and ask about every time then walk for 20 mins and clutch the wall because the non-breaking process is happening faster than expected.
That gave me chills, let’s move on from that story…
I think the saddest part is summer time in any country, everyone is out enjoying themselves and wanting something cold and refreshing as a snack. This tends to be an ice-cream and I can’t have that but you know whatever. I can wait til I’m home and eat some Swedish Glace (from Tesco) I don’t envy them anymore, as again I save money towards my two occasions a year cake fund! Wohoo, saving and adulthood for the win! In major cities, there tends to be a homely looking ice-cream vendor and there I can most likely get dairy free ice cream other than lemon; it tends to be lemon, strawberry and mango. Sorbets are an option too but I crave a little thick creaminess on a hot day.
Lactose intolerance is a thing, doctors won’t pay for you to do a blood test and even I wouldn’t pay for myself as they’re upwards of £70 in a medical clinic. So be respectful as we sometimes go dairy free or look for vegan deserts, or overlook your Celebration cake even though it’s killing us inside!
We save money, potentially weight and one day it’ll repay us!