Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to digest the sugar in dairy products, called lactose. It affects an estimated 30 million Americans. While there is no cure for lactose intolerance, symptoms can be controlled through dietary changes.
Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of lactase, an enzyme the body normally produces in the lining of the small intestine to break down lactose. Without a sufficient amount of the lactase enzyme, lactose travels unprocessed into the colon, leading to discomfort.
• Abdominal pain
There is currently no way to increase the amount of lactase in the body. To manage symptoms, people with lactose intolerance should limit the amount of dairy products they consume.