Lactose Intolerance: Symptoms and Risks

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July 26, 2023

Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder caused by the inability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy products. People with lactose intolerance don’t make enough of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose. Without sufficient lactase, lactose moves through your gut undigested and causes digestive symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

These are many signs of lactose intolerance. How bad yours is depends on how much dairy you’ve had and how much tolerance you have.

  • Upset stomach
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 

If you get these about 30 minutes to 2 hours after you drink milk or eat dairy products, you should talk to your doctor. Lactose intolerance is just one of many things that can cause these symptoms.

Which Foods Contain Lactose?

Lactose is found in dairy foods and products that contain dairy.

The following dairy products contain lactose:

  • Cow’s and goat milk
  • Cheese 
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Risk factors

The risk factors that can make you prone to lactose intolerance are:

Increasing age. Lactose intolerance usually appears in adulthood. The condition is uncommon in babies and young children.

Premature birth. Infants born prematurely may have reduced levels of lactase because the small intestine doesn’t develop lactase-producing cells until late in the third trimester.

Certain cancer treatments. If you have received radiation therapy for cancer in your abdomen or have intestinal complications from chemotherapy, you have an increased risk of lactose intolerance.

I will be talking further on the causes of Lactose Intolerance in the upcoming blog. Stay connected.

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