Lactose Intolerance: Definition, Symptoms and Treatment
The term lactose intolerance refers to the development of gastrointestinal symptoms following the ingestion of milk or dairy products. Lactose intolerance is caused by a shortage of a digestive enzyme called lactase, which is produced within the lining of the small intestine, although not all people with lactase deficiency develop symptoms. Lactose intolerance is an extremely common disorder and may have a prevalence of up to 100% in some populations. The following brief review of lactose intolerance will provide a summary of the populations most affected, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Revised 2007.