Lately it seems that lactose-free products have become a new trend: more and more people consume them and it is more common to see them in supermarkets and stores. However, this choice, in most cases, is not related to anything temporary or free choice, quite the opposite. And it is that many people cannot digest the sugar (lactose) that milk contains.This intolerance produces diarrhea, gas and bloating after ingesting dairy products .The condition, also called lactose malabsorption, usually doesn’t cause major problems, but the symptoms can be bothersome.
Most infants and children have no problem producing enough lactase , but as we age , lactase production progressively decreases.Lactase, responsible for breaking down lactose into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose, is produced by the small intestine. People who suffer from this intolerance do not usually produce this digestive enzyme.
It can also happen that lactase is made, but not in the right amount to split the lactose. Not being divided into glucose and galactose, lactose will continue its way through the digestive system without being absorbed, producing fermentation and gas . Approximately the65% of adults have some degree of lactose intolerance.


Most people who have lactose intolerance can live with the condition without having to give up all dairy products. In fact, for some its symptoms will go unnoticed. Signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking foods that contain lactose .
There are 5 main symptoms to take into account to identify this intolerance:
Acute diarrhea
Nausea and, sometimes, vomiting
Stomach cramps
Gas or flatulence
Another factor to take into account is time,Not to be confused with other digestive problems : As already mentioned, the symptoms of intolerance generally appear between 30 minutes and two hours after consuming foods that contain lactose.Unlike other problems or allergies, which usually develop symptoms later.

Two types of intolerance

Lactose intolerance can be divided into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary lactose

intolerance People who develop primary lactose intolerance, the most common type, are due to progressive loss of intestinal lactase. Babies, who get all their nutrition from milk, need lactase and normally make enough of it.
As children replace milk with other foods, their lactase production normally decreases, but usually remains high enough to digest the amount of dairy products present in a typical adult diet. In primary lactose intolerance, lactase production drops dramatically, making dairy products difficult to digest in adulthood.

Secondary lactose

intolerance This form of lactose intolerance is caused by some pathology that damages the small intestine., such as gastroenteritis, illness or injury, or surgery. It can be transient or reversible. Diseases associated with secondary lactose intolerance include intestinal infection, celiac disease , bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn’s disease.


According to MayoClinic, in people with lactose intolerance caused by a pre-existing condition, treating the condition may restore the body’s ability to digest lactose, although that process can take months.For other reasons, you can avoid the discomfort of lactose intolerance by following a low-lactose diet.
to reducethe amount of lactose in your diet:
Limit milk and other dairy products
Include small portions of dairy products in your regular meals
Eat and drink ice cream and lactose-reduced milk
Add a liquid or powdered lactase enzyme to milk to break down lactose


Probiotics are living organisms found in the intestine that help keep the digestive system healthy . These probiotics are also available as active or “live” cultures in some yogurts and as supplements in capsule form.They allow the bodydigest lactose and relieve and heal other gastrointestinal problems.

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