Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. When a person with lactose intolerance consumes dairy products, he or she will often experience pain or discomfort as lactose is absorbed through the large intestine. This condition occurs when the body doesn’t produce a sufficient quantity of lactase, a chemical needed to break down lactose.
Symptoms will vary based on the amount of lactate your body produces. They appear within 30 minutes and up to two hours after consuming dairy products. Some of the more common symptoms associated with lactose intolerance include: bloating, pain and cramps in the stomach, gurgling sounds, gas, loose stools or diarrhea, and throwing up. To treat lactose intolerance, you should avoid consuming dairy products. Even though a complete cure doesn’t exist, symptoms can be controlled by consuming less milk, or by substituting dairy products with other alternatives.