Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem where you will find it hard to digest lactose food products like milk or dairy. If they do consume lactose-related products, they may suffer from gas, diarrhea, and stomach bloating. The condition is also known as lactose malabsorption, which is typically harmless, but the symptoms will be uncomfortable. Usually, too little production of an enzyme from the small intestine is responsible for lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance signs
The symptoms may get severe depending on the amount of lactose consumed. A few people might still drink a small amount of milk without triggering symptoms, while others with lactose intolerance may face the following signs:
- Bloating stomach
- Stomach pain and cramp
- Rumbling stomach
The symptoms develop within a few hours of consuming a lactose-related product.
Is lactose intolerance an allergy?
No, lactose intolerance is not as exact as dairy or milk allergy. Allergies are due to the reaction by the body’s immune system to certain types of food, and food allergies may lead to rash, itching, and wheezing reactions. But people with lactose intolerance can still consume a small amount of lactose without experiencing any problems, though it may vary from person to person.
Lactose intolerance treatment
There is no exact cure for the condition, but cutting down on lactose food and drink can help control the signs. The lactose-free food products include:
- Soya milk and yogurt
- Lactose-free milk
- Oat, almond, coconut, rice, hazelnut, potato, and quinoa milk
A doctor might recommend vitamin D and calcium supplements if required.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022