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Lactose Intolerance and Other Disaccharidase Deficiency


Intolerance to foods which contain lactose can cause a range of intestinal and systemic symptoms. These symptoms are caused by Lactase deficiency which is encoded by a single gene (LCT) of ≈ 50 kb located on chromosome 2q21. In some food items, lactose has been missed because of “hidden” lactose due to inadequately labeled, confusing diagnosis of lactose intolerance based on dietary restriction of dairy foods. Two polymorphisms, C/T13910 and G/A22018, linked to hypolactasia, correlate with breath hydrogen and symptoms after lactose. The key in the management of lactose intolerance is the dietary removal of lactose. Patients diagnosed as lactose intolerant must be advised of “risk” foods, inadequately labeled, including processed meats, bread, cake mixes, soft drinks, and lagers. This review highlights the types, symptoms and management of lactose intolerance and also highlights differences from milk allergy which closely mimics the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

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Dr. Balvir S. Tomar will act as guarantor for this paper.

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Tomar, B.S. Lactose Intolerance and Other Disaccharidase Deficiency. Indian J Pediatr 81, 876–880 (2014).

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  • Lactose intolerance
  • Differentiation from milk allergy gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Treatment of lactose intolerance