Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the body's inability to produce enough of the enzyme lactase needed to break down lactose so that it may be absorbed in the intestinal tract. Whether or not a person has symptoms depends on the level of lactase enzyme present and the amount of lactose consumed. If the levels of lactase are not sufficient for the amount of lactose consumed, the undigested lactose travels to the colon where intestinal bacteria feed on the undigested lactose-producing gas and the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. After diagnosis the patient should avoid all milk products for 2 - 3 weeks. Thereafter the ingestion of milk products can be increased according to tolerance.


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