Lactose Intolerance

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a food intolerance that occurs after ingestion of lactose. Three medical tests can be used to diagnose lactose intolerance: lactose tolerance test, lactose-hydrogen breath test and stool pH.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

Symptoms usually occur within 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion of lactose-containing products and the most common symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating and abdominal distension
  • Spasms
  • Acid diarrhea
  • Abdominal gas and flatulence
  • Explosive defecation
  • Pasty and floating stools
  • Redness of the perianal area
  • Vomiting

On the other hand, symptoms unrelated to the digestive system may also occur:

  • Fatigue
  • Despondency
  • Skin problems
  • Pain in the extremities
  • Nervousness
  • Alterations in concentration
  • Sleep disorders

What are the causes of lactose intolerance?

In order to digest lactose, the body needs an enzyme called lactase. Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine does not produce enough lactase.

Can lactose intolerance be prevented?

There is no way to prevent it, the only way to prevent symptoms is to avoid eating foods containing lactose.

What is the treatment?

The only treatment for lactose intolerance is to reduce or avoid lactose intake.

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