Milk can have an impact on bowel function, but not necessarily constipation. For example, lactose intolerance generally causes diarrhea.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk. The small intestine makes an enzyme called lactase, which breaks lactose down into two smaller sugars, galactose and glucose. People who don’t have enough lactase aren’t able to break lactose down efficiently. The result is a constellation of symptoms, including bloating, cramping, pain, diarrhea, and gas. These symptoms usually onset within two hours or three hours of drinking milk. We call that a dairy intolerance, not an allergy, because lacking an enzyme is not an allergy. Allergies are reactions mediated by the immune system rather than being due to an enzyme deficiency.
Unlike lactose intolerance, a true allergy to cow’s milk can cause constipation. There’s a protein in dairy milk called casein. For some people, beta-casein triggers an immune response resulting in bloating, cramping, pain, and, sometimes, small hard lumps of stool, which are hard to pass.
- All You Need To Know About Rhodotorula
- How Many Stool Samples Do I Need for the CDSA Test?
- Functional vs Conventional Laboratory Testing for Candida
- Metabolites, Mycotoxins, and Acetaldehyde – What Are They?
- Fatty Liver And Candida Infection: Is it Connected?
Some people with lactose intolerance take lactase tablets to make up for their body’s inability to produce enough of that enzyme. But in my opinion, if you’ve got a problem with milk, avoid it.
If you are experiencing constipation and you’re drinking milk, stop the milk to see what happens. If your constipation clears up, you may have your answer.