Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive disorder caused by the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. It results from a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort....

Lactose intolerance

Who can benefit from testing for lactose intolerance?

Individuals who experience digestive discomfort after consuming dairy products may benefit from testing for lactose intolerance. Symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas following dairy intake are common indicators. Testing is especially helpful for those unsure if their symptoms are related to lactose or another digestive issue. People of certain ethnic backgrounds with higher prevalence of lactose intolerance might also consider testing.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting

What should be avoided in the diet if one has lactose intolerance?

Those with lactose intolerance should avoid or limit dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream. It’s also important to check food labels, as lactose can be found in less obvious products like bread, processed meats, and salad dressings. Lactose-free dairy or plant-based alternatives can be good substitutes.

What are the treatment options or dietary strategies to manage lactose intolerance symptoms?

  • Reducing or eliminating lactose-containing foods from the diet.
  • Using lactose-free dairy products or plant-based milk alternatives.
  • Consuming small amounts of dairy with meals can sometimes be tolerated.
  • Over-the-counter lactase enzyme supplements can help digest lactose.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet to ensure adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, nutrients commonly found in dairy products.

Test(s) that measure/test for Lactose intolerance

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