Lactose Intolerance: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Lactose intolerance is one of the most common problems in India and across the world. Every year around 10 million cases are found. And these are just the reported ones. It is usually self-diagnosable but this condition can’t be cured. 

The conditions could last for years to even lifetime. It is harmless and yet is uncomfortable while it occurs. So what is it really and should someone worry over it?


Simply put, Lactose intolerance or Lactose malabsorption is experienced by those who are unable to digest the sugar present in dairy products. Their digestion does all the work but somehow some parts are left undigested.

These small tidbit enzymes circulate in our stomach and cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. In a condition like this, you should refer to something on what are the causes which you can remove in your belly.

What are its causes?

As one eat or drink dairy products, an enzyme called ‘Lactase’ is produced in our gut which helps to resolve and digest the products. Usually, the production of lactase is normal in everyone. 

But when the amount produced is less than what was required, your system develops a condition where it is unable to bring down the sugar and you become lactose intolerant. Below down is the list of items that have high lactase content.

  • Milk and heavy cream
  • Icecream
  • Condensed and evaporated milk
  • Cottage/ Ricotta cheese and Cheese spreads
  • Sour cream

What are the symptoms?

Though some people can cope up with the dairy intake without much lactose production, they start to feel a change in their stomach condition.

Based on your digestion, you may see some of these symptoms between 30 minutes to 2 hours after you ate something that included lactose.

  • Gas
  • Stomach Cramp
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

Do visit a doctor for an allergy test to find out if you’re allergic to lactose or not, for better clarity. 

Treatment for lactose intolerance

Currently, around 75% of the world’s population suffer from lactose intolerance. And everyone has become dependant on dairy products for a daily supplement of calcium and vitamin D which are crucial for staying healthy. 

So what to eat then? Here we have a list of major substitutes that you can add in your lifestyle to tackle your lactose intolerance and bring control over it.

  1. Almond milk: It might be a little crunchy and has salty taste but almond milk is one of the most widely accepted substitutes for dairy products.
  2. Acidophilus milk: Acidophilus milk is regular milk with rich content of a specific group of bacteria to ensure lactose formation in your body. 
  3. Coconut milk/ Soy Milk/ Hemp milk: These are additional non-dairy products that you can add in your breakfast for the maximum amount of calories. Also, it helps to control lactose formation in your body.
  4. Oil and Butter: Use olive oil or peanut butter for toasts against milk.
  5. Lactase supplements: These are direct medicinal aid for your body to regulate your lactose intolerance in order of a normal human being. 

You can also refer to these dietary restrictions to fight and overcome the effect of lactose intolerance:

  • Add small intakes of milk products to give your body a balanced diet
  • Drink less than one cup of milk at a time
  • Eat milk and milk products with meals rather than alone
  • Try reduced-lactose milk
  • Eat yogurt
  • Remove any dairy product from your meal plan for two weeks and start to refresh. Repeat this at regular intervals to see positive changes in your body.
ALSO READ: Veganism – The Latest Religion of the World, Or Maybe The Oldest.

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