Signs and Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a substance found naturally in milk as a type of sugar. Our body helps digest lactose by an enzyme called lactase. People who have lactose intolerance are found to have less enzymes that digest lactose, leading to an inability for people who suffer from lactose intolerance to consume dairy products. Over the course of this article, signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance will be covered.

Stomach Discomfort and Bloating

Stomach discomfort and bloating are two of the most typical symptoms of lactose intolerance, though it may be caused by other factors too.  In the colon when bacteria mixes with undigested lactose, it has the potential to produce excessive gas and water that leads to the feeling of stomach ache and bloating. Furthermore, in rare cases, some may feel nauseous or have the need to vomit.


Similar to the above, undigested lactose ferments in the colon and produces more water that forms diarrhoea. This symptom is also more likely to affect newborns and kids rather than adults. 


Although lactose intolerance may cause diarrhoea, it may also cause the opposite which is constipation. It is less common than diarrhoea, but it still happens. Constipation comes with lactose intolerance as it is found that the more methane gas produces, the more time it takes for food to move through the gut. Of course, constipation may not be caused just because of lactose intolerance, but other factors such as not drinking enough water (dehydration), and many more other contributing factors.

Other signs and symptoms

Human error exists, and we are all bound to make mistakes. For instance, one may mistake their symptom for a lactose intolerance symptom, or may even blame their milk allergy on lactose intolerance. Though the following are not proven to be the exact symptoms of lactose intolerance, they are still reported. They are;

Lethargy, Headache, Inability to Focus well, Mouth Ulcers, Eczema, Urinary Difficulty, Pain in the Muscles and Joints

Difference between Lactose Intolerance and Milk Allergy

actose Intolerance is caused by a lack of lactase, an enzyme required to break down lactose. Whereas milk allergy, is a food allergy that is caused from the protein found in milk that makes one suffer from an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of milk allergy are likely similar to lactose intolerance, but they are still differable. They are;

Eczema and Rash, Stomach Discomfort, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Asthma, Anaphylaxis

Should I be Concerned if I have Lactose Intolerance

Don’t worry, because you are not alone. Over 70% of the world’s population suffer from lactose tolerance. Everyone has different limitations over how much they are able to consume dairy, so try finding the right amount that fits for you. Some may consume little dairy and still experience no symptoms. If you suspect you have lactose intolerance, go for a doctor’s diagnosis and reduce consumption of dairy.

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