Lactose Intolerance Test
Points to Remember about Lactose Intolerance
- Lactose intolerance is the inability or insufficient ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products.
- Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is produced by the cells lining the small intestine.
- Not all people with lactase deficiency have digestive symptoms, but those who do may have lactose intolerance.
- Most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate some amount of lactose in their diet.
- People with lactose intolerance may feel uncomfortable after consuming milk and milk products. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.
- The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be managed with dietary changes.
- Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is a concern for people with lactose intolerance when the intake of milk and milk products is limited. Many foods can provide the calcium and other nutrients the body needs.
- Talking with a doctor or registered dietitian may be helpful in planning a balanced diet that provides an adequate amount of nutrients—including calcium and vitamin D—and minimizes discomfort. A health professional can determine whether calcium and other dietary supplements are needed.
- Milk and milk products are often added to processed foods. Checking the ingredients on food labels is helpful in finding possible sources of lactose in food products.
Hope through Lactose Intolerance Research
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' (NIDDK's) Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition conducts and supports basic and clinical research into digestive disorders.
Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. For information about current studies, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.