Being lactose intolerant means you have a hard time digesting the sugar (called lactose) naturally found in milk. Symptoms may include stomachaches, bloating, or gassiness, but these symptoms can have many different causes and could also be signs of other digestive conditions. Visit your doctor to be properly tested for lactose intolerance.
Being lactose intolerant is not the same as having a milk allergy. A milk allergy is caused by a reaction to the protein in milk. This is different from lactose intolerance, which occurs when your body has a hard time digesting the natural sugar (lactose) in milk. Learn more about the important differences here.
Lactose intolerance is less common in young children. If you think your child is lactose intolerant, talk to your family doctor, pediatrician or dietitian before limiting their dairy intake. Milk and dairy foods provide essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and protein that are vital for growing bodies.
Your body makes an enzyme called lactase to help digest the lactose in milk. As an adult, your body may be making less of this enzyme then when you were younger.