Disaccharide deficiency is also referred to as lactase deficiency which is characterized by inability of the body to either digest or absorb lactose. Lactase is an enzyme found in the intestinal which is responsible for breaking lactose (a sugar found in milk and milk products), into simpler sugars namely galactose and glucose. As a result of deficiency of lactase, the intestinal mucosa fails to break down lactose into simpler components and is associated with a wide range of symptoms and problems.
Disaccharide deficiency may be congenital or acquired.
Disaccharide Deficiency Symptoms
The most common symptoms associated with the Disaccharide deficiency include,
- Abdominal bloating and distention
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Foul smelling stools and floating stools
- Malnutrition and unusual weight loss
- Nausea and retarded growth
Disaccharidase Deficiency Diet
Individuals suffering from disaccharide deficiency are recommended to avoid milk and milk products which are the chief cause of the symptoms. Hence a diet rich in calcium is required to compensate for the body’s demand for calcium.The diet should include salmon, baked beans, spinach, leafy vegetables, shrimp, green peas, oysters, broccoli and fresh fruits.
In addition milk products which are easier to digest may be consumed which include soy milk, butter milk, lactose free milk, goat’s milk, etc
Disaccharidase Deficiency Treatment
The treatment comprises of avoiding lactose rich foods and ensuring an adequate intake of alternative calcium rich foods. Further regular health checks are an integral part of the treatment procedure.