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Diseases » Lactose Intolerance » Summary
 

What is Lactose Intolerance?

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is an inability of the body to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Lactose intolerance is ...more »

  • Lactose Intolerance: Lactose intolerance is the inability to metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products, because the required enzyme lactase is absent in the intestinal system or its availability is lowered.
  • Lactose Intolerance: The condition resulting from the absence or deficiency of LACTASE in the MUCOSA cells of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, and the inability to break down LACTOSE in milk for ABSORPTION. Bacterial fermentation of the unabsorbed lactose leads to symptoms that range from a mild indigestion (DYSPEPSIA) to severe DIARRHEA. Lactose intolerance may be an inborn error or acquired.
    Source - Diseases Database
  • Lactose Intolerance: congenital disorder consisting of an inability to digest milk and milk products; absence or deficiency of lactase results in an inability to hydrolyze lactose.
    Source - WordNet 2.1

Lactose Intolerance: Introduction

Types of Lactose Intolerance:

Broader types of Lactose Intolerance:

How many people get Lactose Intolerance?

Prevalance of Lactose Intolerance: 30 million people to 50 million people (NIDDK 1994); about 25% of population (1994/NIDDK)
Prevalance Rate of Lactose Intolerance: approx 1 in 9 or 11.03% or 30 million people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Lactose Intolerance: Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NIDDK) ... This most common food intolerance affects at least one out of ten people. (Source: excerpt from Food Allergy and Intolerances, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID) ... 30 to 50 million people (1994) (Source: excerpt from Digestive Diseases Statistics: NIDDK) ... An estimated 30 to 50 million Americans (about 25% of the United States population) are affected by lactose intolerance. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC)

Who gets Lactose Intolerance?

Profile for Lactose Intolerance: Certain ethnic and racial populations are more widely affected than others. As many as 75 percent of all African-Americans and Native Americans and 90 percent of Asian-Americans are lactose intolerant. The condition is least common among persons of northern European descent. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NIDDK)

Racial Information for Lactose Intolerance: While this condition is least common among Caucasians (about 15% of adults), it is widespread among other ethnic groups. It is estimated that 70% of African-American, 74% of Native American, 53% of Mexican-American, and 90% of Asian American adults are affected. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC)

How serious is Lactose Intolerance?

Prognosis of Lactose Intolerance: Excellent. Well controlled through dietary changes.
Complications of Lactose Intolerance: see complications of Lactose Intolerance
Prognosis of Lactose Intolerance: Lactose intolerance is not serious. You should feel better soon if you eat less food with lactose or if you use products that help you digest lactose. (Source: excerpt from Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK)

What causes Lactose Intolerance?

Causes of Lactose Intolerance: see causes of Lactose Intolerance
Causes of Lactose Intolerance: cannot digest lactose because you do not have enough lactase enzyme. The small intestine needs lactase enzyme to break down lactose. If lactose is not digested, it can cause gas and stomach cramps. (Source: excerpt from Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK)
Risk factors for Lactose Intolerance: see risk factors for Lactose Intolerance

What are the symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance: see symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Complications of Lactose Intolerance: see complications of Lactose Intolerance

Can anyone else get Lactose Intolerance?

Inheritance: see inheritance of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose Intolerance: Testing

Diagnostic testing: see tests for Lactose Intolerance.

Misdiagnosis: see misdiagnosis and Lactose Intolerance.

How is it treated?

Doctors and Medical Specialists for Lactose Intolerance: Gastroenterologist ; see also doctors and medical specialists for Lactose Intolerance.
Treatments for Lactose Intolerance: see treatments for Lactose Intolerance
Alternative treatments for Lactose Intolerance: see alternative treatments for Lactose Intolerance
Research for Lactose Intolerance: see research for Lactose Intolerance

Society issues for Lactose Intolerance


Hospitalization statistics for Lactose Intolerance: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Lactose Intolerance:

  • 0.001% (160) of hospital consultant episodes were for lactose intolerance in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 99% of hospital consultant episodes for lactose intolerance required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 51% of hospital consultant episodes for lactose intolerance were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 49% of hospital consultant episodes for lactose intolerance were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 55% of hospital consultant episodes for lactose intolerance required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2.2 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for lactose intolerance in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more statistics...»

Organs Affected by Lactose Intolerance:

Organs and body systems related to Lactose Intolerance include:

Name and Aliases of Lactose Intolerance

Main name of condition: Lactose Intolerance

Other names or spellings for Lactose Intolerance:

milk intolerance, lactase deficiency

Alactasia, hereditary, Disaccharide intolerance type 2, Hypolactasia, Lactase deficiency Source - Diseases Database

Lactose intolerance, Milk intolerance, Lactase deficiency, Milk intolerance, Lactose intolerance, Lactase deficiency
Source - WordNet 2.1

Lactose Intolerance: Related Conditions

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Lactose Intolerance:

 

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