Which pills to buy: Suggestions from a lactose intolerant
I spent my entire senior year at Emerson College in a turmoil of stomach pain before it dawned on me that I might have an allergy to something. As a rabid consumer of coffee, mostly in (iced) latte form, there were zero minutes in the day when milk was not in my system. Therefore, lactose intolerance never crossed my mind. Finally, a friend recommended I avoid dairy for a day. This was excruciating (hello, my COFFEE!), but I went with a black americano and voila! It was the most amazing feeling. Peace in my stomach!
Clearly, foregoing dairy was not a long term option for someone like me. I despised the chalky aftertaste of soy, and had absolutely no interest in venturing into the world of rice or almond milk. I NEEDED a way to get back to eating cheese, ice cream, and drinking iced lattes (believe it or not, I’m not obese).
[Insert fond memory of making fun of my classmate Jake in third grade when he took lactaid pills before eating ice cream. What a loser….(sorry Jake).]
So, on to the pharmacy…where the selection was a bit much. Chewable, flavored, swallow-only, lactose intolerance “therapy”, 30 pills, 60 pills, 10 pills, $30. Blech.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
The chewable tablets leave so much gross flavor and residue in your mouth, that eating a pill and taking a bite of mac & cheese = ruined mac & cheese. Some of my friends enjoy the flavor though.
Lactose intolerance therapy was a joke for me. Supposedly taking one pill a day keeps you safe for 24 hours, but that was not the case for me.
The chocolate chewables are horrendous.
The little jars of swallow-only pills seem great because you’re getting twice as many pills for the same price. Read the fine print – sometimes this means that the dose is 2 or 3 pills instead of one. Even if that is not the case, the pills at the bottom of the jar are usually all broken down to powder by the time you get there, so you’re not getting bang for your buck.
My favorite are the swallow only, individually packaged pills made by Lactaid, or, better yet, the generic brand (cheaper for the same protection).
There you have it. I still drink my lattes (although now I’ve accepted soy SOMETIMES). I frequently enjoy ice cream, and I eat cheese all the time. Goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses don’t bother me at all – I love them!
I know there are thousands of lactose intolerants out there….what are your methods?