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Giardiasis and Lactose Intolerance - Topic Overview

Lactase is an enzyme produced in the intestine that breaks down milk sugar (lactose). When a person becomes lactase-deficient (also called lactose-intolerant), he or she has difficulty digesting milk and milk products. The undigested lactose is used as food by bacteria that are normally found in the intestine. This can cause diarrhea, a large amount of gas, and cramps.

Giardiasis causes some people to become temporarily lactase-deficient. It may take as long as 1 month to be able to eat milk and milk products again without a problem.

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If a person being treated for giardiasis has symptoms that suggest this is a problem, he or she should avoid milk products for at least 1 month. Then add them gradually back into the diet as the body can handle them.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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