Name: Lactose Intolerance: What You Need to Know (Brief Awareness Overview)

Description: NIDDK

Creator: Prajkta

This casebook is published and has been read 307 times.

The author of this casebook has identified the following medical topics as being highly relevant to this casebook.

  • Lactose Intolerance -- The condition resulting from the absence or deficiency of LACTASE in the MUCOSA cells of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, and the inability to break down LACTOSE in milk for ABSORPTION. Bacterial fermentation of the unabsorbed lactose leads to symptoms that range from a mild indigestion (DYSPEPSIA) to severe DIARRHEA. Lactose intolerance may be an inborn error or acquired.

Did you know that if you feel sick after drinking milk or eating foods made with milk, you may have lactose intolerance?

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance means you cannot digest foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Lactose intolerance is not serious, but it can make you very uncomfortable after you eat foods with lactose.


How will I feel if I have lactose intolerance?

After eating foods with lactose in them, you may feel sick to your stomach. You may also have cramps, bloating, gas, or diarrhea.

Some illnesses can cause these same problems. Your doctor can do tests to see if your problems are caused by lactose intolerance or by something else.


What can I do about lactose intolerance?

You will need to avoid or eat less of foods that have lactose in them.

Lactose is in milk and all foods made with milk. It is also added to some boxed, canned, frozen, and other prepared foods, such as

  • breads
  • cereals
  • lunch meats
  • salad dressings
  • mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and biscuits
  • frozen dinners

Learn to read food labels carefully. Look for milk and lactose in the list of ingredients. Also look for words like whey, curds, milk by-products, dried milk, milk solids, and powdered milk. If any of these words are listed on a label, the product contains lactose.


Do I have to avoid all foods with lactose?

Not necessarily. You may be able to eat a small amount of some foods with lactose. For example, you may be able to eat cheese or yogurt but not drink milk. Try a small amount of the food and then see how you feel. You can also drink lactose-reduced milk. And you can buy lactase enzyme caplets or drops that help you digest lactose.

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 Lactose Intolerance: What You Need to Know (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)|root&url= (Lactose Intolerance)

This web-site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor. It should not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.