Lactose Intolerance

What is Lactose? Lactose is a disaccharide (FODMAP) sugar molecule found in dairy products. Disaccharide means that it is made up of two different sugar molecules (glucose and galactose).

What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition which is associated with a decreased expression or activity of the lactase enzyme [2]. It is a common condition affecting 10-20% of the population and up to 90% of ethnics, in particular persons of Asian and African heritage [3]. The decreased ability of this lactase enzyme results in such patients, lactose intolerance is characterized by abdominal symptoms (e.g. nausea, bloating, and pain) after ingestion of dairy products [1].

 

How do you test if you have lactose intolerance?

You can test if you have lactose intolerance by undertaking breath hydrogen and methane test. These tests are non-invasive and have repeatedly been demonstrated as the most accurate indirect indicator of lactase deficiency and subsequently lactose tolerance [2]. Want to know more about breath testing? See Stream Diagnostics.

I am lactose intolerant what now? 

Lactose is found in dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and soft cheeses. Once diagnosed with lactose intolerance it is recommended that you remove foods high in lactose from your diet. To learn more about which foods are high in lactose download the FODMAP Friendly App.

High Lactose Low Lactose
Milk Lactose Free Milk
Yoghurt Lactose Free Yoghurt
Ice Cream Lactose Free Ice-cream
Soft Cheeses (cottage, ricotta, mascarpone) Hard Cheeses (cheddar, parmesan, swiss)
Cream Butter

References

[1] Misselwitz B, Pohl D, Frühauf H, Fried M, Vavricka SR, Fox M. Lactose malabsorption and intolerance: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. United European Gastroenterol J. 2013 June; 1(3): 151-159

[2] Rana SV, Malik A. Breath tests and irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jun 28; 20(24): 7587-7601.

[3] Goebel-Stengel M, Strengel A, Schmidtmann M, van der Voort, Kobelt P,  Mönnikes H. Unclear abdominal discomfort: pivotal role of carbohydrate malabsorption. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Apr 30;20(2):228-35.

[4] Better Health Channel [Internet]. Victoria: Department of Health & Human Services; 2013 Apr. Calcium. Available from:  https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/calcium