Lactose Intolerance

What Causes Lactose Intolerance?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of lactose intolerance we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow lactose intolerance to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind lactose intolerance consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to lactose intolerance.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Milk Allergy
  • Increased Intestinal Permeability
  • Poor Digestion
  • Poor Small Intestine Health

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
severe flatulence
fatty food intolerance
coated tongue
severe allergies to certain foods
brittle fingernails
meal-related bloating
vegetarian diet
frequent colds/flus
no desire to eat breakfast
regular unexplained nausea
nausea for 1-3 months
regular postprandial somnolence
... and more than 20 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of lactose intolerance:
Cause Probability Status
Increased Intestinal Permeability 90% Confirm
Milk Allergy 20% Unlikely
Poor Small Intestine Health 1% Ruled out
Poor Digestion 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate suffering allergic/other reactions, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Are you lactose intolerant? Symptoms usually begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk or dairy products and can include stomach pain and rumbling, bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, I know for sure that I am not
→ Moderately, resolved by lactase / consuming less
→ Severe problem; I must strictly avoid dairy
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not being lactose intolerant, lactose intolerance or severe lactose intolerance, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Allergy to Cow's Milk

One study found that of 24 milk-allergic individuals studied, half were found to be lactose intolerant.

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