Questions and Answers on Lactose Intolerance

Is lactose intolerance dangerous?

No, lactose intolerance is a genetic variant of the ability to break down milk sugar. Most adults in the world are lactose intolerant. It is not a disease, it is not harmful and it is not dangerous.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

Symptoms are individual and vary from person to person. Some people have mild or no symptoms while others have more severe symptoms. The most common symptoms are gas, loose stools, swelling or stomach upset.

Why do you become lactose intolerant?

Lactose intolerance is hereditary and completely natural. Lactase production decreases in most people from preschool age onwards, as symptoms of lactose intolerance begin to appear.

Can you be born lactose intolerant?

Yes, but congenital lactase deficiency is very rare and means that the enzyme lactase is not produced at all in the body.

Where is lactose present?

Lactose is present in the milk of all mammals, in breast milk as well as in the milk of cows, buffaloes, donkeys, goats and sheep. Lactose can also be found in very small amounts in some medicines where it is used as a binding agent.

How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?

The diagnosis of lactose intolerance can only be made by a doctor by means of a so-called lactose load. If you think you are lactose intolerant, always consult a doctor to exclude your stomach problems from causes other than lactose intolerance.

Can you become lactose intolerant if you only use lactose-free products?

No. Lactase production is genetically determined and lactose-poor products do not reduce the production of the enzyme.

Why are some dairy drinks called lactose-free?

Legislation stipulates that when the lactose content in the production of a drink has been reduced and filtered, the product must be called a milk drink. However, lactose-free milk is exactly the same as regular milk and contains all its vitamins and minerals, with the only difference being that the lactose is removed.

Can you eat ready meals and other products containing powdered milk if you are lactose intolerant?

Milk powder and skimmed milk powder are milk and therefore contain lactose. The amounts in the products tend to be so small that most can tolerate them. You should try these types of milk.

Can you get rid of lactose intolerance?

It depends on the type of lactose intolerance you have. Some people have what is called temporary or secondary lactose intolerance, which may be due to, for example, a temporary intestinal injury. When the intestinal lesion is healed, the temporary lactose intolerance also disappears. However, primary lactose intolerance is permanent, but with the help of knowledge about how to take care of your sensitive stomach and the products you can eat, greater problems can be avoided.

Can you be temporarily lactose intolerant?

Yes you can. It is called temporary or secondary lactose intolerance and may, for example, be due to a temporary intestinal injury.

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