Information for the HP
Let’s visit this common scenario: You are counseling a patient on recommended diet changes. You reach the part about including dairy into a healthful meal pattern, when the patient stops you short.
“I don’t drink milk. I’m lactose intolerant.”
This statement is usually a non-starter for the practitioner. One in 8 Americans believe they are lactose intolerant, and yet of those, half do not seek a diagnosis from a health professional. You are the missing link to supplying your clients with appropriate education. Fortunately, lactose intolerance is not an “all-or-nothing” condition!
Lactose Intolerance and Health Disparities (PDF) – 2013 consensus statement from National Medical Association on lactose intolerance and health disparities among African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
Science Summary: Dairy & Lactose Intolerance (National Dairy Council website) – The latest research: Lactose intolerance (LI) may lead some individuals to avoid or decrease dairy food consumption, which can decrease essential nutrient intake and may be associated with chronic disease risk. Objective diagnosis and tailored approaches to managing symptoms can help many Americans who experience LI to include dairy foods in their eating patterns.
From Misperception to Empowerment: The Importance of Lactose Intolerance Education (PDF) – Health professionals are at the forefront to diagnose and adapt a personalized approach to include dairy’s full nutrient package.