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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases & Conditions Arrow to Lactose IntoleranceLactose Intolerance

milk contains 11 gram of lactose per cupWhat is LI and what does it mean to your life if you are diagnosed with it?

Lactose is a form of sugar found in milk and milk products. It is broken down and processed in your body by the enzyme lactase.

If your body doesn't produce the enzyme in the right amount, then lactose intolerance symptoms may show up as bloating and cramping. In more severe instances, diarrhea or vomiting may occur soon after ingesting any kind of milk or dairy products.

Treating lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is usually diagnosed after ruling out conditions with similar symptoms -- such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease.

If LI is indeed the cause of symptoms, a doctor may also help with tips on living lactose-free while still getting healthy amounts of calcium and vitamin D included in your diet.

In mild cases of lactose intolerance, dairy products can taken in smaller portions. Some individuals may opt for hard cheeses and other dairy foods with lower lactose that cause few or no symptoms (see table.)

Lactose Content in Dairy Foods
(from lowest to highest)
Product Serving Size Lactose (in grams)
Sharp cheddar cheese 1 oz. 0
American cheese 1 oz. 1
Swiss cheese 1 oz. 1
Bleu cheese 1 oz. 2
Whipping cream 1/2 cup 3
Light cream 1/2 cup 4
Sour cream 1/2 cup 4
Half-and-half 1/2 cup 5
Yogurt, low fat 1/2 cup 5
Ice cream 1/2 cup 6
Buttermilk 1/2 cup 10
Milk (1%, 2%, whole) 1 cup 11

source: UVA Digestive Health Center

While there is no permanent cure for lactose intolerance, over-the-counter tablets that contain the lactase enzyme may be taken before meals to help digest dairy products more easily. Also look for 'lactose free' labels on specially-formulated milk and yogurt products now available at local grocers or supermarkets.

More about lactose intolerance around the Web:

Around the Web, learn more about lactose intolerance at top resources offering tips and recipes, lists of food substitutes, and enjoying meals more while living milk free...

WebMD - Lactose Intolerance - Check out expert facts and information causes and symptoms, with an overview of diagnostic tests used to detect lactose intolerance, available treatments, and related literature.

The No Milk Page - This no frills site offers top-of-the-line resource for more information around the Web related to lactose maldigestion, milk allergies and casein intolerance.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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