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Treatments for Lactose Intolerance

Treatments for Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose intolerance cannot be cured and there is no way to increase the amount of the enzyme lactase that the body produces. Lactase is necessary for the digestion of foods that contain lactose. However, people with lactose intolerance may be able to digest varying amounts of foods and beverages that contain lactose by taking supplements that contain the enzyme lactase. These supplements are available over-the-counter and are taken just before consuming products that contain lactose.

Treatment may also include avoiding foods and beverages that contain lactose altogether for some people with a severe lactose intolerance. Common foods and beverages that contain lactose include milk, ice cream, soft cheeses, yogurt, sour cream and any food that is made with dairy products. Alternative foods include soy milk and lactose-reduced milk and dairy products. Other people with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate regular dairy foods in small quantities.

For people who are limiting or eliminating diary foods from their diet, a calcium supplement is generally recommended to ensure they get enough calcium.

Treatment of the complications of severe diarrhea and dehydration due to lactose intolerance may require hospitalization and rehydration with intravenous fluids. Infants with lactose intolerance are most at risk for these severe complications.

Treatment List for Lactose Intolerance

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Lactose Intolerance includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Alternative Treatments for Lactose Intolerance

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Lactose Intolerance may include:

  • Lactase supplement
  • Low-lactose diet
  • Eliminate dietary lactose (including whey, milk byproducts, nonfat dry milk powder, malted milk, buttermilk, dry milk solids)
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • more treatments »

Lactose Intolerance: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Lactose Intolerance may include:

Hidden causes of Lactose Intolerance may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Lactose Intolerance: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose Intolerance: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Drugs and Medications used to treat Lactose Intolerance:

Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment or change in treatment plans.

Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Lactose Intolerance include:

  • Lactase
  • Lactaid
  • Lactaid Extra Strength
  • Lactaid Ultra
  • Lactrase
  • Dairyaid
  • Lactaid Original

Latest treatments for Lactose Intolerance:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Lactose Intolerance:

Hospital statistics for Lactose Intolerance:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization 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)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Lactose Intolerance

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Lactose Intolerance:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Lactose Intolerance, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Discussion of treatments for Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose Intolerance: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Fortunately, lactose intolerance is relatively easy to treat. No treatment exists to improve the body's ability to produce lactase, but symptoms can be controlled through diet.

Young children with lactase deficiency should not eat any foods containing lactose. Most older children and adults need not avoid lactose completely, but individuals differ in the amounts of lactose they can handle. For example, one person may suffer symptoms after drinking a small glass of milk, while another can drink one glass but not two. Others may be able to manage ice cream and aged cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss but not other dairy products. Dietary control of lactose intolerance depends on each person's learning through trial and error how much lactose he or she can handle.

For those who react to very small amounts of lactose or have trouble limiting their intake of foods that contain lactose, lactase enzymes are available without a prescription. One form is a liquid for use with milk. A few drops are added to a quart of milk, and after 24 hours in the refrigerator, the lactose content is reduced by 70 percent. The process works faster if the milk is heated first, and adding a double amount of lactase liquid produces milk that is 90 percent lactose free. A more recent development is a chewable lactase enzyme tablet that helps people digest solid foods that contain lactose. Three to six tablets are taken just before a meal or snack.

Lactose-reduced milk and other products are available at many supermarkets. The milk contains all of the nutrients found in regular milk and remains fresh for about the same length of time or longer if it is super-pasteurized. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NIDDK)

Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK (Excerpt)

eat less of all foods with lactose. These foods include

Foods made with milk
Lactose is in milk and all foods made with milk, like

  • Ice cream.

  • Ice milk.

  • Sherbet.

  • Cream.

  • Butter.

  • Cheese.

  • Cottage cheese.

  • Yogurt.

Prepared foods
Lactose is added to some boxed, canned, frozen, and other prepared foods, like

  • Bread.

  • Cereal.

  • Lunch meats.

  • Salad dressings.

  • Mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and biscuits.

  • Frozen dinners.

  • Nondairy coffee creamer.
(Source: excerpt from Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK)

Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK (Excerpt)

pills or drops at a drug or grocery store to help you digest lactose. They are

  • Pills that you chew right before eating foods with lactose. These pills are called lactase enzyme caplets.

  • A liquid that you add to milk before drinking. The liquid is called lactase enzyme drops.
You can also

Drink a special milk with less lactose in it. You can buy this milk at the grocery store. It is called lactose-reduced milk. (Source: excerpt from Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK)

Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK (Excerpt)

milk and eating foods made with milk are the most common ways to get calcium. Calcium is important for good health. If you cannot eat or drink these foods, you may need to eat other foods with calcium:

  • Canned salmon with bones.

  • Sardines.

  • Collard greens.

  • Turnip greens.

  • Broccoli.

  • Tofu.

Also, ask your doctor if you should take a calcium tablet every day. (Source: excerpt from Why Does Milk Bother Me: NIDDK)

Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC (Excerpt)

There are simple ways a person can deal with the uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance. Although there is no known way to increase the amount of lactase in a person's body, there are supplements people can take before eating or drinking dairy products. These lactase supplements come in both liquid and pill form and are available over-the-counter at pharmacies and grocery stores. Lactose-reduced products also are available for most kinds of diary products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream.

The easiest and least expensive way to control symptoms is to avoid foods containing lactase. Adults can test the kinds and quantities of foods their systems are able to handle, then avoid the foods and amounts that produce bothersome symptoms. Infants and children, on the other hand, should not be given food that contains lactose if they have an allergy to milk products. Studies show that for people who have at least some lactase, they can increase tolerance to dairy products by introducing them gradually into the diet. Again, they also can eat more easily digested dairy products such as yogurt and aged cheese. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC)

Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC (Excerpt)

It is important to read the label of ingredients on foods since many foods other than those made with milk may contain lactose. Examples of these include: bakery products; cereals; instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks; margarine; non-Kosher lunch meats; salad dressings; candies; mixes for pancakes, biscuits, and cookies; artificial sweeteners; hot chocolate mixes; cream cheese and peanut butter with milk solid filler; omelets, scrambled eggs and soufflés at restaurants; and gelatins made with an ingredient called carageenan. Many prescription drugs also contain lactose. A pharmacist can answer specific questions about which drugs contain lactose, but some of them include birth control pills and tablets for stomach acid and gas. (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC)

Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Calcium is necessary for strong and healthy bones throughout life. A lack of calcium in the diet can lead to osteoporosis, or a condition of fragile, weakened bones that can break easily. Dairy products, like low-fat milk, are the best source of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, it is important to have a diet that includes other foods high in calcium to meet the recommended daily amounts.

Other foods high in calcium include dark, green leafy vegetables, like kale and broccoli, fish like salmon, sardines, and oysters (or those with soft, edible bones), and tofu. Although these foods are high in calcium, the body cannot absorb it as easily as from milk. For instance, it takes 11-14 servings of kale a day to get the same amount of calcium in three to four glasses of milk (Source: excerpt from Lactose Intolerance: NWHIC)

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