The symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea (there is a form that includes constipation, but that’s not so relevant here). The diarrhea can be so severe that a person could become housebound, or even incontinent.
Research also shows that people with IBS tend to be lactose intolerant-up to 80 to 90 percent, depending on the study you look at.
Enter the pills. For some twisted reason, anhydrous LACTOSE is used as a filler in many pills. I’ve even seen it on the labels of anti-diarrhea tablets! Have you ever heard of anything more asinine?
So if you’re having tummy troubles, or know someone who is, check the “inactive ingredients” section on the patient handout that comes with your pills, or look your pill up on the internet, or ask your pharmacist. Remember that each generic has a slightly different formulation, so you have to get the info on exactly the pill you’re taking.
What to do if you’re lactose intolerant and (previously) unknowingly ingesting lactose via your meds?
Take lactase enzyme with each dose. How much lactase depends on how lactose sensitive you are. I’m horribly lactose intolerant, and I take one super-strength Lactaid tablet for my morning pills and one for the evening pills, and that seems to do the trick, for me.
You can also request lactose-free pills, but they’re scarce as hen’s teeth, as lactose is very cheap and compresses very easily, making it a perfect pill filler.
I really think lactose should be banned as a component of pharmaceuticals, because in my opinion it’s a hidden cause of an illness that has become epidemic, as more and more people are taking multiple medicines. Lactose is used in many kinds of pills, from blood pressure meds to antibiotics and, of course, neuropsychiatric meds.
© Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A. and A Canvas Of The Minds 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A. and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.