How do I know if I am lactose intolerant?

This is probably a really stupid question but how do I know if I am lactose intolerant? Before my diagnosis I ate anything and everything and felt pretty rubbish although I have always cooked most things from scratch. I have been gf for six weeks and don't feel much better but am aware that everyone is an individual and as marywales says I didn't get this overnight so it's going to take time. The dietician said to cut out lactose for the first 6 weeks so I have. What would I expect when I re introduce into my diet ?

15 Replies

  • they can do a hydrogen breath test to see if you are lactose intolerant. However, if they are suggesting you just try dairy yourself remember what lactose intolerance is. It means you don't break down the milk sugars yourself so they are available to the gut bugs who have a merry feast when they arrive. Lots of over-excitement leads to flatulence, bloating, colic and the runs.

  • Hi. I have CD and I'm also Lactose intolerant. If you've already cut out gluten but are still eating dairy then I found that symptoms were similar to CD. As Lois said, bloating, wind, several journeys to the loo and stomach pain. All very unplesant. Lacto Free do a great range of products like cream, ice cream, milk cheese etc. I find if I stick to these I'm ok.

  • I have also cut out the lactose and am using the lacto free stuff. Just not sure if I should leave it longer before trying lactose again.

  • Not sure about the lactose thing, but I can not tolerate anything Dairy.

    I use Soya milk, spreads etc.

    I sure as hell know about it if my husband has put dairy milk in my tea by mistake!

  • Thanks, looks like I will just know then when I try it. Not sure if I want to try though!

  • Bear in mind it can take a year or more for the villi to heal. Until they heal you may have nausea/ lactose problems - albeit not full blown lactose intolerance. So I'd recommend eating low lactose foods or cutting it out and slowly re-introducing it and seeing how you get on. Some people with lactose intolerance find they can tolerate a certain small amount before they are ill i.e. OK in tea not in a latte or cheddar cheese bad vs parmesan which is low in lactose. Consult your dietitian as you go.

  • Fiona, was you diagnosed lactose intollerant as a baby, gp said cannot be lactose intollerant unless diagnosed as baby.

  • Thanks Fiona, will stay off the lactose for now. I certainly don't want to make things any worse.

  • I also am not sure, but have gone lactose free and am much improved. Was fine to day then had an apple which started some abdominal discomfort, it will settle but at least I was able to be aware apple triggered me. Its great now having spells of no discomfort, and hardly ever any wind. I had day and night discomfort...not now since lactose free. Lets hope you improve.

  • Thank you Osborne, can't wait to start feeling better. Just all aches and pains at the moment and I have Thursday to look forward to when I have a colonoscopy!

  • Had a carton of semi skim milk in pantry so thought would use it. Big mistake Back on dairy and lactose free. After 2 plus years suffering badly most of time am delighted for all advice from site given. Unable to understand why doctors etc., didnt advise lactose free as would have saved me suffering, never thought lactose could cause so much trouble. Havent said anything yet as means making an appointment. Went on soya end April. How did you get on with the colonoscopy hope all went well.

  • Colonoscopy was ok the bowel prep was the worst bit! Just waiting for results but consultant thinks that there will be no probs there. I am staying lactose free though for the time being as I am just starting to feel a bit better. Although some sites advise to take a little lactose type products as many people can tolerate small amounts.

  • For me it would have to be a very small amount, after my experience the other week. So far am much improved, to see gp next week, wonder if he will get a lactose test arranged or perhaps offer little tabs to help me cope (like gastroenterology clinic advised) ha ha ha. Like I said if they cannot be bothered to help ... little tablets are a good excuse for them.. Hope all goes well with you.

  • In my experience quite a few coeliacs are not just lactose intolerant (i.e. milk sugar) but can have intolerance to milk proteins. A Swedish study a few years ago found that 50% of coeliacs they tested had a coeliac-like reaction when mill was introduced into their gut. You my find the lacto free products still cause a reaction.

    Cutting milk out of your diet makes for a lot more complexity with diet and nutrition so would recommend getting your GP to refer you to a dietician and also suggest getting a bone density scan, as coeliacs can have greater risk of osteoporosis anyway and cutting milk out exacerbates this risk. I have a balanced diet and have had dietician input but have recently had to start taking calcium/vitamin D supplements.

  • Hasnt gone down well me going lactose free. Something to do with it would have been diagnosed at birth. 76yrs ago Not pulling your leg. Main thing is am much improved and its not a problem. Was fine on normal 100% porridge but not Asda gf porridge..get obdominl burning sensation.

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