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How do you know if I am lactose intolerant?

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Quick Answer

People who are lactose intolerant experience mild to severe painful gas or bloating, loose stools, vomiting or cramps up to two hours after consuming milk products, according to WebMD. A common way to check for lactose intolerance is to see if symptoms improve after abstaining from products that contain lactose.

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Full Answer

If symptoms do improve after this experiment, the patient can try gradually adding in lactose-containing foods and drinks. If symptoms reappear, the person may have lactose intolerance, states WebMD. Even if people discover they are intolerant to lactose, consultation with a medical professional is still important in order to rule out any other conditions, WebMD advises. The doctor typically asks a number of questions about the symptoms and may order a simple test, such as a hydrogen breath test or a lactose tolerance test, to confirm a diagnosis.

As of 2014 there is no cure for lactose intolerance, however, refraining from consuming milk and dairy products generally eliminates the symptoms, states WebMD. Some ways to avoid lactose include switching to a reduced-lactose milk or a milk alternative such as soy or almond milk. Taking lactase supplements with meals also can help people to digest the lactose found in dairy products.

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