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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lactic Acidosis Not a Dairy Problem

"Lact" comes from the Latin word for milk. It's used all the times by chemists, too often for comfort for those who look to avoid dairy. Unfortunately, any chemical derived from a dairy product, originally found in a dairy product, or merely a white liquid in form might have a "lact" in its name. Many, probably most, of these chemicals are in no way related to dairy in the modern world.

One such example is the disease named lactic acidosis. This Peter Gott Ask the Doctor column I found on reassures a questioner.

Lactic acidosis occurs when lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream faster than it can be broken down by the liver.

Despite the name, lactic acid is not related to milk. It is, however, produced when blood oxygen levels drop too low. Most people, especially those new to exercise, will experience muscle pain after strenuous exercise.

This is due to lactic-acid buildup in the muscles. After normal breathing resumes, levels return to normal and the pain generally subsides (and may be replaced with muscle ache due to overuse).

Symptoms of lactic acidosis include rapid breathing, sweet-smelling breath, excessive sweating, cool/clammy skin, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Treatment is aimed at identifying the underlying cause.

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Anonymous said...

From the National Digestive Disorders Clearing House: "The stool acidity test is used for infants and young children to measure the amount of acid in the stool. Undigested lactose creates lactic acid and other fatty acids that can be detected in a stool sample. Glucose may also be present in the stool as a result of undigested lactose." How can you be so sure lactose intolerance cannot increase lactic acid in the body?

tony said...

I agree with the last comment. I am on HIV meds, and I am also lactose intolerant. When I do eat certain dairy products now, I experience a sharp abdominal pain and all-over gas pain, different to the normal lactose reactions I would get before I was diagnosed and medicated for HIV.