Lactose Intolerance Medications: FSA Eligibility
What are lactose intolerance medications?
Lactose intolerance treatments work by breaking down the lactose in milk. This is performed through the introduction, from the tablet, of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is a natural enzyme that breaks down lactose. This is useful to lactose-intolerant individuals who lack the natural ability to break down lactose. If a lactose intolerance treatment like lactaid is not used in conjunction with a food containing lactose, a lactose-intolerant individual may experience a variety of uncomfortable things such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and/or bloating. The severity of these conditions will vary based on the individual's level of lactose intolerance and the amount of lactose-containing food they have consumed (WebMD).
How do lactose intolerance medications help with lactose intolerance?
The most important step in living well with lactose intolerance is learning to identify which foods contain lactose. This may be mostly a trial-and-error experience, but foods should be appropriately labeled as well. Restaurants may pose a more difficult challenge, as restaurant staff will typically do their best to inform customers with medical conditions such as lactose intolerance, but the transparency afforded by food labeling is not available in most restaurants. A lactose intolerant individual can use a lactose intolerance medication to receive lactase, which will break down lactose into the simple sugars galactose and glucose (Mayo Clinic).
Individuals that are suspected to be lactose intolerant should consult a medical professional so they can be correctly diagnosed, and so they can receive a prescription for a lactose intolerance treatment like lactaid. A medical professional can also help an individual verify that they are suffering from the medical condition of lactose intolerance, rather than a milk allergy, which causes similar reactions and is commonly confused for the other.