What is galactose intolerance and how to avoid consumption of the substance

Many people have heard of intolerance to gluten or lactose, which are the most common problems that cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, nausea, diarrhea and even changes in mood . But have you ever heard of galactose intolerance (or galactosemia)? Although more rare, this problem can cause severe symptoms and must be treated correctly. To learn more about the subject, we spoke with nutritionist Cristiane Coronel, who clarified important points about galactosemia. Check out!

Galactosemia is the body’s inability to metabolize galactose

According to nutritionist Cristiane Coronel, galactosemia occurs in the same way as other intolerances. That is, the organism has difficulty breaking down and digesting a certain substance (in this case, galactose).

“Galactosemia is a genetic disease that is characterized by the body’s deficiency in converting galactose (a monosaccharide sugar from the” breakdown “of lactose), into glucose (another type of sugar). The enzymatic production for this process does not occur correctly, causing a series of symptoms arising from the toxicity of non-metabolized galactose – such as difficulty gaining weight (in the case of babies), nausea, vomiting, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), irritability, seizures and enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) ” , explains the professional.

It is worth mentioning that, as a congenital deficiency, galactose intolerance needs to be treated early. Thus, it is possible to avoid symptoms as much as possible and ensure control of the problem. “If parents have galactosemia, their children will have a 25% chance of being born with the same problem – which can be diagnosed through the heel prick test. The disease without treatment can cause problems with the kidneys , liver, eyes and central nervous system. baby “, says the nutritionist.

It is important to cut milk, dairy products and other foods from the diet

To treat galactosemia, the first thing you need to do is to take certain precautions with your diet, cutting out all food sources of galactose. According to nutritionist Cristiane Coronel, it is important to set up a very restricted, balanced diet without the following foods / nutrients:

– Milks, cheeses, yogurts, curds, curd, sour cream;

– Butter and margarine containing milk as an ingredient;

– Ice cream;

– Chocolate;

– Fermented soy sauce;

– Chickpeas;

– Animal viscera: kidneys, heart, liver;

– Processed or canned meats, such as sausages and tuna, as they usually contain milk or milk proteins as an ingredient;

– Hydrolyzed milk protein, normally found in canned meat and fish, and in protein supplements;

– Casein (milk protein added in some foods such as ice cream and soy yogurt);

– Milk-based protein supplements, such as lactoalbumin and calcium caseinate;

– Monosodium glutamate: additive used in industrialized products such as tomato sauce and hamburger.

Finally, the nutritionist gives a good tip for not running the risk of consuming galactose unintentionally in everyday life: “As galactose can be present in ingredients used in the manufacture of industrialized products, one must look at the label to check the presence or not from galactose. In addition, foods such as beans , peas, lentils and soybeans should be eaten in moderation, as they contain small amounts of galactose “, concludes Cristiane.


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