The “Stinkma” Around Lactose Intolerance

Erin Brogan

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Hannah Locke

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Woman hand holding glass of milk having bad stomach ache because of Lactose intolerance. health problem with dairy food products, Healthcare and medical concept.

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Woman hand holding glass of milk having bad stomach ache because of Lactose intolerance. health problem with dairy food products, Healthcare and medical concept.

POV: It is finally summer break. You are spending the week with your family on a beach vacation.  Nothing could ruin this. The weather is beautiful, you are tan, and after a full day outside you are feeling great.☀️  When one of your cousins suggests the idea of ice cream, you are instantly sold.🍦  Conveniently there is a nearby ice cream shop within walking distance from your house. After enjoying a nice walk and ice cream with your cousin, you make it home safely.  You change and get comfy when you start to feel some discomfort in your side. You are very tired and decide to sleep through the pain.  When your mom wakes you up to drag you to a baseball game, the pain is unbearable, but recognizable.  You realize that you did not take your lactaids before going to the adorable ice cream shop.  Who knew such a tiny, cute shop could create such a gut wrenching pain.  You force yourself out of bed and make it to the baseball game.  The pain is so bad that you can barely walk.  You are falling behind your family and cannot catch up.  This pain lasts for three long hours.  All of the sudden, the stabbing pain grows until it becomes intolerable.  It will not stop, and it is only getting worse.  You begin to cry.😭  You tried to use the restroom but nothing helped the pain of someone stabbing your bowels.  When your entire family sees you limping and crying they ask what is wrong. All you can say is you ate ice cream.  They look at you and laugh.  They think you are pathetic and dramatic, but do not understand the pain that overtaking your body. 🫠This is what it is like in the life of the lactose intolerant. 

Often, people do not appreciate what it is like to be able to go out with friends, eat whatever they want and not have to worry about whether there will be any dairy free options. Of course, you could always take a lactaid, but what happens if you leave said lactaid at home? And no one wants to be the person to ask if we can maybe get salads instead. No one even wants to talk about the added plumbing bill caused by unexpected accidents.💩 Nowadays, so many of our everyday going out foods revolve around dairy – coffee☕️, pizza🍕, ice cream🍦. It is truly a lactose intolerant person’s worst nightmare. Vegans and the lactose intolerant need to come together in this fight and promote more dairy-free options world-wide. 

You may think it’s obvious, don’t eat dairy if you don’t want your stomach to hurt. But, it’s not that easy. Not all dairy hits like others. Some hit like a feather to the cheek, while others may describe this feeling as being run over and trampled to the ground by a double decker bus. For example, you may be able to down 4 taco bell burritos no problem! But, the moment you have a bite of mac n cheese, it’s game over. Additionally, there is dairy hidden where you least expect it. Who knew instant mashed potatoes had that much milk in them! This increased amount of stress is not healthy ,and can even affect your physical appearance by increasing the risk of balding🦲🧑‍🦲 and cystic acne. 🙁This being said, you must always be prepared and aware of the nearest bathroom🪠. This struggle makes lactose intolerant people more anxious in public and therefore causes a lack of enjoyable social interactions.

Although almost 70% of the population world-wide struggles with some sort of lactose intolerance, it is still not normalized enough to talk about. People that are lactose intolerant are often called horrible names such as “stinky”, “smelly”, “gross”, and “poopy”. However, these are just stereotypes. The lactose intolerant shower just as much as the normal person on average, if not more! Because it is looked down upon to talk about such a subject among family and friends, many call lactose intolerance “the silent killer”. We need to bring up this chronic illness to better provide comfort to those who are suffering. To anyone out there struggling with this disease, just know that you are not alone! We see you👀, we hear you👂, and most importantly❗️, we smell you🤢.