New research has found that 84% of British women experience some form of digestive discomfort after eating certain foods, but that 35% took no action or 46% self medicated for short term relief.
Most women said that they left their symptoms untreated because they didn't feel they were serious enough or they were too embarrassed to talk to their GP.
Breakfast TV doc, Dr Hilary Jones, explained, "As a GP, these findings are a cause for concern. When people's bodies are not digesting crucial nutrients found in many foods – as is the case with symptoms such as diarrhoea and bloating - the risk of certain illnesses dramatically increases.
While it may be tempting to self medicate or hope the problem will go away, sufferers are not getting to the root of the problem."
28% of the women experiencing discomfort said it occurred after they ate dairy.
Dr Hillary Jones added, "This issue is particularly key with dairy and milk intolerance as there are a range of reactions that people can have to milk.
It's not as simple as lactose intolerant or not. All too often people soldier on or cut milk out entirely when there are alternative options available. If in any doubt, talk to your GP – we aren't scary I promise!"
The research found that two thirds of people who have issues with milk, have not been diagnosed with any form of intolerance or allergy.
The best known form of milk intolerance in the UK is arguably lactose intolerance, but academic research shows that less than a third of cases can be attributed to this.
If you are not lactose intolerance, but still struggle to digest milk, you could instead be intolerant to the A1 beta-casein protein found in regular cows' milk.
A new milk may have the answer as a2 Milk comes from specially selected British dairy cows that produce milk with only 'A2' proteins – and no 'A1', but still with all the health benefits of regular milk.
Would you go to the doctor if you had mild digestive complaints?
a2 Milk is available now in supermarkets.
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