Lactase deficiency; Milk intolerance; Disaccharidase deficiency; Dairy product intolerance
Decreasing or removing milk products from the diet usually improves the symptoms.
Most people with low lactase levels can drink 2 - 4 ounces of milk at one time (up to one-half cup) without having symptoms. Larger (more than 8 oz.) servings may cause problems for people with lactase deficiency.
These milk products may be easier to digest:
You can add lactase enzymes to regular milk or take these enzymes in capsule or chewable tablet form.
Not having milk in the diet can lead to a shortage of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, and protein.
You may need to find new ways to get calcium into your diet (you need 1,200 - 1,500 mg of calcium each day):
Read food labels. Lactose is also found in some non-milk products -- including some beers.
Symptoms usually go away when you remove milk products or other lactose containing products from the diet.
Weight loss and malnutrition are possible complications.
Call your health care provider if:
Genauer CH, Hammer HF. Maldigestion and malabsorption. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010: chap 101.
Lactose intolerance. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). NIH Publication No. 09-2751. June 2009.
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