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Lactose Intolerance is a medical condition of the small intestine that affects millions of Americans. It is a condition in which the body cannot properly digest the sugars found in milk, known as lactose. Because of this, people with lactose intolerance will experience bloating, gas, and even diarrhea after consuming dairy-based products. While this condition is typically harmless on an overall health and safety measurement, the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance can be very uncomfortable.
Lactose intolerance is caused by the small intestine not producing lactase, the digestive enzyme that properly breaks down lactose. While many people have low levels of lactase in their bodies, they are still able to process dairy products properly. Therefore, true lactose intolerance is established when the symptoms are apparent after the consumption of dairy foods.
When to See Your Gastroenterologist
If you suffer severe symptoms after consuming dairy products and you are concerned about your calcium intake, you can visit your gastroenterologist to discover whether lactose intolerance is the manifestation of an underlying condition. Your GI doctor may perform a hydrogen breath test and/or a lactose tolerance test to determine whether you are suffering from a true lactose intolerance or something else.
Find Relief at AGH of Greater Washington
While lactose intolerance can be a hassle, you do not have to suffer alone. Whether it is newly acquired or has been a persistent issue throughout your life, AGH of Greater Washington is here to help. Our GI doctors have been delivering specialized intestinal services for years, and we pride ourselves on staying committed to all of our patients. If you are concerned about your symptoms, schedule your consultation today.