Skip to main content

Lactose Intolerance

Nihal K. Patel, MD Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Inability to digest lactose into constituent components (glucose and galactose) due to low levels of lactase in the brush border of the small intestinal mucosa

  • Causes bloating, borbor...

DIAGNOSIS

  • Lactose intolerance is defined by a positive lactose hydrogen breath test and clinical symptoms.

  • Lactose intolerance can mimic symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Lactose intol...

TREATMENT

There is insufficient evidence to recommend any treatment (including probiotics, colonic adaptation, and other supplements) as definitive first line. 
  • Treatment of lactose malabsorption in th...

ONGOING CARE

DIET

  • Reduce or restrict dietary lactose to control symptoms—patient-specific “trial and error.”

  • Yogurt and fermented products such as hard cheese are often better tolerated than milk.

  • Supple...

REFERENCES

1
Mattar R, de Campos Mazo DF, Carrilho FJ. Lactose intolerance: diagnosis, genetic, and clinical factors. Clin Exp Gastroenterol.  2012;5:113–121. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Law D...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Almeida CC, Lorena SL, Pavan CR, et al. Beneficial effects of long-term consumption of a probiotic combination of Lactobacillus casei Shirota and Bifidobacterium breve Yakult may pe...

CODES

ICD10

  • E73.9 Lactose intolerance, unspecified

  • E73.8 Other lactose intolerance

  • E73.1 Secondary lactase deficiency

  • E73.0 Congenital lactase deficiency

ICD9

271.3 Intestinal disaccharidase deficiencies an...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • The diagnosis of lactose intolerance is based on clinical history and can be confirmed by hydrogen breath testing.

  • Most lactose intolerant patients can tolerate up to 12 to 15 g of lact...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.

×