Munson Health
 
Lactose Intolerance

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by Wood D
 

Treatment

Temporary lactose intolerance following an infection usually goes away after the intestine heals.
Treatments include:

Dietary Changes

Keep a food diary of what you eat and what the reaction is. Discuss the findings with your doctor or a dietitian.
Dietary changes may include:
  • Eat smaller amounts of milk or milk products with a meal. It may reduce symptoms. Many people can tolerate 4-8 ounces of milk. You may have better tolerance for some of the following dairy products made from milk:
    • Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss
    • Yogurt
  • Try lactose-free milk and lactose-reduced milk and milk products.
  • Ask a dietitian for help choosing substitutes for dairy products or recommending supplements to ensure that you eat enough calcium.
  • Nondairy foods rich in calcium include:
    • Salmon
    • Sardines
    • Cooked spinach
    • Oranges
    • Broccoli
  • Read product labels because other foods can contain lactose including:
    • Breads
    • Baked goods
    • Processed cereals
    • Instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks
    • Margarine
    • Processed meats
    • Liquid and powder milk-based meal replacements
    • Protein powders and bars
    • Salad dressings
    • Candies
    • Pancake mixes
    • Non-dairy coffee creamers and whipped toppings
  • Other words that indicate lactose are:
    • Whey
    • Curds
    • Dry milk solids
    • Nonfat dry milk
    • Milk by-products
  • Be aware that some medications may contain small amounts of lactose.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend lactase enzymes if you can tolerate only small quantities of lactose. The enzyme supplements come in liquid and chewable form. A few drops of the liquid added to milk, which is allowed to sit overnight, can decrease the amount of lactose in the milk. Tablets are chewed or swallowed before eating foods that contain lactose.
 

RESOURCES

The American College of Gastroenterology
http://gi.org

American Gastroenterological Association
http://www.gastro.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
http://www.cag-acg.org

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

 

References


Heyman MB. Lactose intolerance in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006;118(3):1279-1286.


Lactose intolerance. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance. Updated April 23, 2012. Accessed December 31, 2013.


Lactose intolerance in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 4, 2012. Accessed December 31, 2013.


Lactose intolerance in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 30, 2013. Accessed December 31, 2013.


Montalta M, Curigliano V, et al. Management and treatment of lactose malabsorption. World J Gastroenterol. 2006;12(2):187-191.


National Institutes of Health. National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2010 consensus development conference statement on lactose intolerance and health. 2010 Feb 22-24;27(2).


Understanding food allergies and intolerances. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/diet-medications/food-allergies-fructose-intolerance-and-lactose-intolerance. Accessed December 31, 2013.

 

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