Lactose intolerance

Salim ALSenaidi

difintion of lactose

People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, they have diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. The condition, which is also called lactose , is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable.

A deficiency of lactose — an enzyme produced in your small intestine — is usually responsible for lactose intolerance. Many people have low levels of lactose but are able to digest milk products without problems. If you're actually lactose intolerant, though, your lactose deficiency leads to symptoms after you eat dairy foods.

Most people with lactose intolerance can manage the condition without having to give up all dairy food


The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking foods that contain lactose. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea, and sometimes, vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • gas

food the client must stay away from

cause lactose lurks in foods you might not suspect, you’ll want to read food labels carefully to avoid these ingredients:

  • Casein
  • Whey
  • Curds
  • Milk by-products
  • Dry milk solids

The Healthiest Diet for Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is generally not dangerous, but it can cause unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and gas. Lactose intolerance is more prevalent in adults than in children, as the body is less reliant on milk than it is during infancy, and therefore produces less lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Adult men and women should aim for around 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and women should get around 1,200 mg after menopause. Top picks include:
  • Spinach
  • Canned salmon or sardines with bones
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Raw broccoli
  • Canned white tuna
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Almonds

long-term effects

The important long-term health consequence of lactose intolerance is calcium deficiency that leads toosteoporosis. Less commonly, vitamin D deficiency may occur and compound the bone disease. Both of these health issues can be prevented easily by calcium and vitamin D supplements. The real problem is that many lactose intolerant people who consciously or unconsciously avoid milk do not realize that they need supplements.

Expected Duration of lactose intolerance

People who develop lactose intolerance as a result of gastroenteritis or another insult to digestion can recover completely when the intestinal problem is treated. This may take several weeks to months.

When lactose intolerance is genetic, the condition is permanent. However, people can avoid symptoms by avoiding foods that contain lactose (essentially, dairy products) or by eating them in moderation. In addition, commercially prepared forms of the lactase enzyme are available (for example, Lactaid). These replacement enzymes usually do not relieve the symptoms entirely



There are two main ways to treat lactose intolerance:

  • Reduce the amount of lactose you eat, by limiting milk and dairy products

  • Taking commercially available enzyme substitutes

People with lactose intolerance need to read labels of all prepared foods to see if they contain lactose. The highest concentrations are found in ice cream and milk. Cheeses typically have lower amounts of lactose. Some products listed as nondairy, such as powdered coffee creamer and whipped toppings, may contain lactose if they contain ingredients that are derived from milk. When you read food labels, look for words such as whey, curds, milk byproducts, dry milk solids and nonfat dry milk powder. If any of these ingredients are on the label, the product probably contains lactose.