Common tests include:. For most people, lactose intolerance does not require treatment.
Instead, your doctor or nurse will talk to you about how to prevent the symptoms of lactose intolerance. This includes limiting or avoiding foods that have lactose, such as milk and foods made with milk. Some people with lactose intolerance can eat a small amount of certain foods with lactose.
For instance, you may be able to eat yogurt or aged cheeses, like cheddar or Swiss. Or you may find that you can tolerate milk if you drink it in small amounts or only at meals. Regularly having some dairy products may help keep lactose intolerance from getting worse. If you cannot tolerate any amount of milk or milk products, you should find other ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are needed for healthy bones and teeth and essential functions of the body like a steady heartbeat.
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Ask your doctor or nurse whether you should take a calcium or vitamin D supplement every day. Or you can try lactose-free dairy products. Lactose intolerance may prevent you from getting enough calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health.
Calcium and vitamin D are found in many foods with lactose, including milk and milk products. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken and break easily.
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More women than men are at risk for osteoporosis. If you are lactose-intolerant, your doctor or nurse will likely talk to you about how to get more calcium and vitamin D each day.
A dietary supplement may give you the amount you need to help prevent osteoporosis, or you can try lactose-free dairy products. For more information about lactose intolerance, call the OWH Helpline at or check out the following resources from other organizations:. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated. This content is provided by the Office on Women's Health.
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Expand all. What is lactose intolerance? What is the difference between lactose intolerance and a milk allergy?
Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy. Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system. It causes uncomfortable symptoms but is not life-threatening.
Milk allergies are more common in children younger than 3. Symptoms can range from mild rashes or itching to severe trouble breathing or wheezing.
Using lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk and milk products may help you lower the amount of lactose in your diet. These products are available in many grocery stores and are just as healthy for you as regular milk and milk products. Calcium and Vitamin D. If you are lactose intolerant, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D each day. Mar 24, Still, even if you're lactose intolerant, you don't have to swear off cheese. You just need a better game plan, and that can include some OTC meds that can help you digest dairy. Lactose intolerance is just one of many things that can cause these symptoms. Being lactose intolerant just means you don't make enough of a certain enzyme that helps your body break down sugar.
A life-threatening reaction caused by an allergy is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Call right away if your child has any symptoms after drinking milk or eating foods with milk. Most children eventually outgrow milk allergies. What foods have lactose? It is also added to many prepared foods, such as: Breads and other baked goods Cereals Frozen dinners Instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks Lunch meats Margarines Mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and biscuits Nondairy liquid and powdered coffee creamers Salad dressings Check the Nutrition Facts label for products with lactose, milk, or milk byproducts.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance? Symptoms of lactose intolerance include: Diarrhea Nausea Stomach cramps Bloating Gas Symptoms usually begin within 30 minutes to two hours after you eat or drink foods with lactose.
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed? Common tests include: Breath tests. Your doctor measures the hydrogen level in your breath. High levels mean you likely have lactose intolerance.
Take the LACTAID Brand quiz to identify if you are lactose intolerant or are sensitive to dairy so you can take the right steps to treat it. If you are uncertain about the cause of your dairy sensitivity, LACTAID Dairy Sensitivity Quiz can help you determine what the cause is. Skip to main content. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products. Learn more about this common condition from WebMD. Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant. 1 Lactose intolerance is common, but it may be especially harmful for women, as it may raise a woman's risk for health problems such as osteoporosis.
Blood tests. Your doctor will ask you to drink milk or a lactose solution. A blood test will then show whether your lactose or glucose levels rise.
How is lactose intolerance treated? How can I prevent the symptoms of lactose intolerance? Some ways to help prevent symptoms include the following: Limit the amount of foods with lactose that you eat. Take a lactase tablet just before eating foods with lactose. The tablet gives your body the lactase it is missing. COVID is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
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Get the latest public health information from CDC: www. Talk with your doctor or a dietitian about changing your diet to manage lactose intolerance symptoms while making sure you get enough nutrients. If your child has lactose intolerance, help your child follow the dietary plan recommended by a doctor or dietitian. To manage your symptoms, you may need to reduce the amount of lactose you eat or drink.
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Most people with lactose intolerance can have some lactose without getting symptoms. You may not need to completely avoid foods and beverages that contain lactose -such as milk or milk products. If you avoid all milk and milk products, you may get less calcium and vitamin D than you need. People with lactose intolerance can handle different amounts of lactose. Research suggests that many people could have 12 grams of lactose-the amount in about 1 cup of milk-without symptoms or with only mild symptoms.
Using lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk and milk products may help you lower the amount of lactose in your diet.
These products are available in many grocery stores and are just as healthy for you as regular milk and milk products. If you are lactose intolerant, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D each day. Milk and milk products are the most common sources of calcium. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium. Be sure to eat foods that contain vitamin D, such as eggs and certain kinds of fish, such as salmon.
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Some ready-to-eat cereals and orange juice have added vitamin D. Some milk and milk products also have added vitamin D. If you can drink small amounts of milk or milk products without symptoms, choose products that have added vitamin D.
Also, being outside in the sunlight helps your body make vitamin D.