Lactose intolerance

  • Inability to digest dairy products caused by lack of enzymes
  • Symptoms may include cramping abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females
  • Can occur at any age
  • May be present at birth or due to aging or a disease process
  • May be mild to severe
  • Not life threatening

GENERAL THERAPY

  • You cannot have to completely avoid dairy products
  • Drink milk in small sips, less than 50-150 ml (2-4 ounces) at a time
  • Drink milk with other foods
  • Spread amounts of milk throughout the day
  • Buy lactose-reduced or lactose–free products
  • Check labels for hidden lactose (whey, buttermilk, dry milk solids, milk by products, nonfat dry milk powder)
  • Check over-the-counter medicine labels for lactose
  • Talk to a dietitian for additional suggestions

 

Over-the-counter medicine (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):

  • Lactase enzyme tablets
  • Calcium supplements

 

DIET

  • Broccoli, leafy greens, canned salmon/sardines/tuna, almonds, oranges, certain tofu, soymilk, calcium fortified breads and juices
  • Try active or “live” cultures found in yogurts
  • Cheeses like Swiss or Cheddar have less lactose
  • Use soy products instead of milk products

 

PRECAUTIONS AND AVOIDANCES

  • Lifelong condition
  • No cure for lactose intolerance
  • Diabetics can find lactose-reduced products raise their blood sugar higher than normal

 

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF:

  • Symptoms don’t go away with treatment
  • If they get worse
  • Develop other symptoms: fever, chills, severe abdomen pain or vomiting

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