‘Game of Thrones’ influence: When science goes ‘Game of Thrones’

Written by By Jena Pincott, CNN • Updated 7th September 2017

Across many parts of the world, fans of the drama “Game of Thrones” have long believed that the show’s winter rain is real, thanks to this notice from one of the show’s protagonists: “The rain’s falling, hit it with a cold one, it’s there and its waiting for you.”

It turns out they were right — but the elements were actually lactose intolerance .

As the author of the New England Journal of Medicine ‘s signature piece, “Wheat to Other Starch Intolerance,” Parag Khanna explores the scientific theories behind a condition that’s bubbled up within the British medical community in recent years.

The condition is known as mucousy lactose intolerance, an often cruel teasing for an illness associated with dairy foods.

“According to the World Health Organization , the majority of people worldwide do not have lactose intolerance,” writes Khanna, “but around 25-30% of the general population, the GI tract is acidic on contact with lactose.”

And while in some cases this can be controlled by refusing dairy products for a short period of time, sometimes it doesn’t work and the sensitivity can be intolerable.

The symptoms of this illness, he explains, are generally dulled when the lactose-free foods, usually rice and beans, are restricted as well. This, combined with the symptoms of clogged throat, runny nose and itching, usually show up when patients become malnourished.

The news was greeted with big relief by many, particularly those who suffer with it already.

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