Lactose intolerance, also called lactase deficiency, means you are not able to fully digest lactose (the milk sugar) in dairy products. Usually it is not dangerous, but symptoms can be uncomfortable enough. The problem behind lactose intolerance is a deficiency of lactase (an enzyme produced by the mucosa of small intestine).
The symptoms of lactase intolerance usually begin 30 minutes after drinking or eating foods that contain lactose. Symptoms are usually mild but may sometimes be severe.
The most common symptoms include:
• Diarrhoea (the most common symptom)
• Gas production
• Abdominal cramps
Lactose intolerance is not always easily diagnosed by symptoms alone.
The diagnosis can be confirmed by conducting of the following tests:
• Lactose tolerance test
• Hydrogen-breath test.
You can control symptoms of lactose intolerance through a carefully chosen diet limiting lactose without cutting out calcium and by taking supplements. You can also use lactase enzyme tablets (tablets that contain the lactase enzyme that breaks down lactose) just before a meal.