Lactose Intolerance

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a problem digesting foods that contain lactose. Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Many people are able to have these foods and beverages without problem, but some individuals are unable to break this sugar down.

Lactose intolerance runs in families—thus if your parents or siblings are affected your risk may be higher. The severity of the condition varies by individual. Different people may have different tolerances for foods and beverages that contain lactose.

Certain health conditions also may lead to lactose intolerance as the result of intestinal damage. For example, celiac disease, some types of cancer treatment and gastrointestinal surgery. As someone recovers from these conditions, they may be able to go back to consuming foods and drinks that contain lactose.


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