Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Lactose Intolerance Overview

What is lactose intolerance?
A person with lactose intolerance is unable to digest lactose, which is a form of sugar found in dairy products. The undigested lactose collects in the intestine, absorbs water, and causes diarrhea. Symptoms of lactose intolerance resolve when lactose is removed from the diet. About 75 percent of the world's population has lactose intolerance.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Additional symptoms of lactose intolerance include excessive gas, flatulence, nausea, and weight loss.

How does the doctor treat lactose intolerance?
The treatment for lactose intolerance includes avoiding milk, dairy products, and foods that contain lactose. Additional treatment for lactose intolerance may include calcium supplements and lactase enzyme supplements.

Continue to Lactose Intolerance Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 4, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lactose Intolerance References
  1. Lovelace HY, Barr SI. Diagnosis, symptoms, and calcium intakes of individuals with self-reported lactose intolerance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Feb;24(1):51-7. [15670985]
  2. Suarez FL, Savaiano DA, Levitt MD. Review article: the treatment of lactose intolerance. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Dec;9(6):589-97. [8824645]
  3. Swagerty DL Jr, Walling AD, Klein RM. Lactose intolerance. Am Fam Physician. 2002 May 1;65(9):1845-50. [12018807]
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