I'm Lactose Intolerant...

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
My whole family has been telling me that during my pregnancy, I have to make sure that I drink lots of milk, to make sure I get calcium, etc. The only problem is, I'm lactose intolerant. My throat clogs up, and I have severe issues breathing, so milk itself is definitely out. So do I need it? What can I substitute if I do?

ANSWER

First of all, those syptoms after drinking milk are NOT lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance causes intestinal upset when drinking milk such as cramping, gas and diarrhea. Those types of symptoms sound more like an allergy and you should most definitely have that checked out if you never have!!

Secondly, you can use other foods besides milk to get your calcium such as fortified OJ, dark green leafy vegetables and other dairy foods, IF you can tolerate them, such as yogurt. Again, if you have an allergy to milk you would not be able to consume ANY dairy products so you really should speak with your doctor about this problem. You can also speak with your doctor about taking a calcium supplement and a dosage that is right for you.

Good luck to you!
-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.