No, dear reader, I’m not being rude and I’m not writing about verbal diarrhoea; I’m writing about the sort of food we eat. Bolus, for those who don’t know, is what you end up with after you put food in your mouth, chew it and swallow. It’s from the Latin for ball. It’s a mixture of food and saliva that forms into a ball in the mouth during the chewing process. Bet you wish you had never asked.

I only mention this because my stomach has been a little upset and it turns our dairy produce is the culprit, so I decided to find out what happens when I eat or drink products with lactose in them. I hope you have a strong constitution.

Being lactose intolerant means you cannot fully digest the sugar i.e., lactose, in milk and other dairy products. The result from eating and drinking something with lactose in it is diarrhoea, gas and bloating. I’m told it’s also known as lactose malabsorption and is mostly harmless. Harmless? It’s horrible!

Within a short while of drinking milk my stomach bloats and I need to burp, quickly, before I start to feel sick. If I can’t rid myself of the gas I start to retch. Not pleasant, but that’s the tip of the lactose iceberg. As time goes on the gas continues, but also starts to make me fart. Within a few hours I’m retching and farting at the same time. By the next day, the gas is still a two-way monster, but now I have the first signs of diarrhoea. This is a dire situation now, and I’m spending most of my day on my toilet, so I shall leave the rest to your imagination.

This isn’t about lactose in milk, it’s also in cheese, cream, yogurt, milk chocolate and even breast milk! Thank goodness I’m past that stage! I was never lactose intolerant as a child, this has only come on in the last 10 years and it’s taken me that long to realise there is a problem. So, if you too start to experience any of these symptoms, bloating, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, gas or diarrhoea then think lactose intolerance and start to change your diet or see your doctor, because fun it is not!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, yes, you can get lactose in some ice-creams!

Copyright © Tom Kane 2021

Luckily, food intolerance hasn’t stopped me writing, so if you’re not intolerant to historical fiction, try a sample of my book, The Brittle Sea, by clicking on the Preview button below.

The sequel to The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land, is to be published in the summer of 2021, around the end of June.







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