Symptoms of lactose intolerance can be mild or severe, depending upon how much lactase your body makes.
Symptoms normally begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or consuming milk or milk products. If you have lactose intolerance, your symptoms may include:
- Pain or cramps in the lower belly.
- Gurgling or rumbling noises in the lower belly.
- Loose stools or diarrhea. In some cases the stools are foamy.
- Throwing up.
Lots of people think they are lactose-intolerant, since the symptoms of lactose intolerance are very common symptoms. If you feel sick after consuming a glass of milk one time, you most likely do not have lactose intolerance. But if you feel sick whenever you have milk, ice cream, or another milk product, you might have lactose intolerance.
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Common Symptoms of Severe Lactose Intolerance
A projected 30 to 50 million children and adults in the United States have a food intolerance condition called lactose intolerance, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. People who are lactose intolerant are unable to digest milk and milk foods correctly due to the absence of an enzyme called lactase. Look for care from your medical service provider if you experience severe lactose intolerance symptoms, as they might be signs of other medical issues, such as an intestinal infection or disease.
Nausea or Vomiting
In most cases, the more lactase you consume, the more severe your lactose intolerance symptoms will be. After eating numerous portions of milk products, you may experience severe nausea accompanied by vomiting and hunger loss. Bigger portions of dairy products likewise take longer for your body to absorb, which indicates you may experience queasiness for numerous hours after eating milk or dairy products. Contact your medical carrier if you repeatedly vomit for more than 24 hours. Frequent bouts of vomiting might increase your risk of dehydration and might also be a sign of another illness, such as food poisoning or a viral infection.
Flatulence or Bloating
Excess gas may develop inside your digestive tract after you consume milk or milk products. Consequently, your abdomen might appear unusually swollen or your pants might fit tighter than usual around your waist. Bloating might likewise be associated with sensations of fullness or repeated flatulence, which can be both uncomfortable and humiliating. Furthermore, you might experience erratic, acute pains throughout your stomach due to abdominal gas. If these symptoms do not go away within a day or more of onset, consult your physician for further evaluation and care.
Loose Bowel Movements
Digestive irritation caused by milk-based food may lead to frequent, loose defecation. Diarrhea typically establishes within one to two hours following intake of a dairy products item in people with lactose intolerance. Watery bowel movements may also happen in combination with stomach pain, queasiness, cramping, bloating or cravings loss. You may need extra medical care from your doctor if your diarrhea symptoms continue for more than one to two days. Prolonged bouts of diarrhea may increase your risk of becoming dehydrated due to extreme fluid loss from your body.