What Does Lactose Intolerance Mean?
Lactose Intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.
Causes of Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine doesn't produce enough of an enzyme (lactase) to digest milk sugar (lactose). Normally, lactase turns milk sugar into two simple sugars, glucose and galactose, which are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining. If you're lactase deficient, lactose in your food moves into the colon instead of being processed and absorbed. In the colon, normal bacteria interact with undigested lactose, causing the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- Pain or cramps in the lower belly
- Gurgling or rumbling sounds in the lower belly
- Loose stools or diarrhea
- Throwing up
- Limit the amount of milk and milk products in your diet
- Eat or drink milk and milk products along with other foods
Frequently Asked Questions
Can children grow out of lactose intolerance?
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?
A doctor can usually tell whether you have lactose intolerance by asking questions about your symptoms. He or she may also ask that you avoid dairy products for a short time to see if your symptoms improve. Sometimes doctors order a hydrogen breath test or a blood sugar test to confirm the diagnosis. These simple tests check to see if you are digesting lactose normally.
What is Lactose Intolerance?
This diagram shows a normal lactose digestion compared to a lactose intolerance digestion.
What Not to Eat!
Be careful of eating these types of foods. They contain dairy products.
This is a type of medicine that might help you with being lactose intolerance.