What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body does not digest lactose. Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products. Lactose needs to be broken down by an enzyme so the intestine can absorb it. This enzyme is called lactase and is made by the intestinal lining.
Why do people become lactose intolerant?
Lactase production decreases by 3-6 years of age. For the majority of people with lactose intolerance, symptoms may start in the teen years and adulthood. Some ethnic populations including Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians and Native Americans, are more likely to suffer from symptoms. Complete lactase deficiency can be present at birth but is extremely rare.
What are the 3 most common symptoms of being lactose intolerant?
What are the diet recommendations and treatment options for being lactose intolerant?
Currently there is no treatment available to improve the body’s ability to produce lactase. Symptoms can be controlled by diet, the addition of synthetic lactase enzyme to regular milk, or the ingestion of lactase enzyme
tablets before eating a meal. The amount of lactose or milk products tolerated
is different for everyone.
A lactose free diet includes the elimination of all sources of milk from the diet.
Your Pediatric Team at PB Digestive
Sari M. Kay, MD is a board-certified Pediatric Gastroenterologist. She has a specialties and expertise in treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, constipation, infant reflux, and functional GI disorders.
Laura E. Irastorza, MD is a board-eligible Pediatric Gastroenterologist. She has expertise in treating patients with eosinophilic esophagitis, constipation, reflux, and functional GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.