Lactose Intolerance Facts

1. Lactose Intolerance is not an all or one problem.  

2.  Many people who have some degree of lactose intolerance can actually handle a certain amount of dairy each day.  

3. this may be limited to certain types of dairy. 

4. One cup of milk a day equates to about 15 grams of lactose.  

5. Partial Lactose intolerance is called Lactose Maldigestion. This is when the body can digest some lactose. When there is intolerance, the body reacts to any amount of lactose. 

Gas and Flatulence and Lactose Digestion 

Gas is a frequent problem with people who don't digest lactose. When no lactase is present to help metabolize (fancy word for breaking down), the dairy products goes through the small and large intestine. 

Lactase is produced in the Small Intestine. 

Bacteria help us with many digestive processes. There are hundreds of different kinds in our gut. Bacteria in the Large Intestine sense the undigested dairy and go to work.  These are Anaerobic Bacteria that produce the byproducts:  Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide.  These have strong odors we expel as gas. 

These bacteria are called anaerobic, because they work in an absence of oxygen. They produce a lot of gas that gives the odors to 'flatulence" 

Lactose Intolerance Testing 

The Anaerobic Bacteria discussed in the preceding paragraph give off hydrogen and methane byproducts. These not only have strong odors, but are also easy to conclusively test for by labs. 

The preferred test for Lactose Intolerance is to test the amount of Hydrogen and Methane breathed out. The presence of these particular byproducts of the bacteria is fairly conclusive.

Lactose Intolerance Facts Chart showing the correlation between dairy consumption and lactose intolerance



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