Lactose intolerance is a condition wherein a person is unable to digest or metabolize lactose, a kind of sugar that is found in milk. If a person is lactose intolerant, he will experience gastrointestinal problems when ingesting any kind of food that contains milk and other dairy products.
Lactose intolerant people will usually experience stomach pain, flatulence, or diarrhea if they eat anything with milk. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the person as well as the amount of food that was ingested. Sometimes, other problems such as bloated stomach and nausea can also come up.
What causes lactose intolerance? Technically speaking, it is due to the lack of lactase in the body. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down the lactose into two substances which can be absorbed by the intestines. If the lactose is not broken down, it cannot be absorbed and causes the problems outline above.
The symptoms associated with lactose intolerance can also be associated with other medical conditions. Thus, it is sometimes difficult to determine if one is lactose intolerant or is suffering from another illness. The safest thing to do is to go to the doctor if you experience the symptoms regularly. You can also observe the occurrence of the symptoms in relation to the food that you eat. In doing so, you will be able to determine if certain types of food trigger the symptoms. Having that information handy will be helpful when you do go see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.