Information for Patients
Also called: Dairy product intolerance, Lactase deficiency, Milk intolerance
Lactose intolerance means that you cannot digest foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. After eating foods with lactose in them, you may feel sick to your stomach. You may also have
- Swelling in your stomach
Your doctor may do a blood, breath or stool test to find out if your problems are due to lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is not serious. Eating less food with lactose, or using pills or drops to help you digest lactose usually helps. You may need to take a calcium supplement if you don't get enough of it from your diet, since milk and foods made with milk are the most common source of calcium for most people.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Lactose Intolerance - NIH (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- Lactose intolerance (Medical Encyclopedia)
Lactose intolerance Lactose intolerance is an impaired ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Lactose is normally broken down by an enzyme called lactase, which is produced by cells in the lining of the small intestine.Congenital lactase deficiency, also called congenital alactasia, is a disorder in which infants are unable to break down lactose in breast milk or formula. This form of lactose intolerance results in severe diarrhea. If affected infants are not given a lactose-free infant formula, they may develop severe dehydration and weight loss.Lactose intolerance in adulthood is caused by reduced production of lactase after infancy (lactase nonpersistence). If individuals with lactose intolerance consume lactose-containing dairy products, they may experience abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea beginning 30 minutes to 2 hours later.Most people with lactase nonpersistence retain some lactase activity and can include varying amounts of lactose in their diets without experiencing symptoms. Often, affected individuals have difficulty digesting fresh milk but can eat certain dairy products such as cheese or yogurt without discomfort. These foods are made using fermentation processes that break down much of the lactose in milk.