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How do low levels of lactase lead to symptoms of lactose intolerance?

ANSWER

Lactase, an enzyme in the small intestine, breaks down the sugar in dairy products. If your body doesn't make enough lactase, you may get diarrhea and an upset stomach when you eat or drink dairy products. You may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, depending on how much lactase your body makes.

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Lactose Intolerance."

WebMD Medical Reference: “Lactose Intolerance – Topic Overview.”

Adolfsson, O., , August 2004. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

WebMD Medical Reference: “Lactose Intolerance: Home Treatment.”

MedicineNet.com: “Lactose Intolerance.”  

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 13, 2018

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Lactose Intolerance."

WebMD Medical Reference: “Lactose Intolerance – Topic Overview.”

Adolfsson, O., , August 2004. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

WebMD Medical Reference: “Lactose Intolerance: Home Treatment.”

MedicineNet.com: “Lactose Intolerance.”  

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 13, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What dairy products besides milk can cause symptoms of lactose intolerance?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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