Lactose intolerance and Stomach Cramps

Patient

Q: I've been getting stomach cramps for about the last year and I have been throwing up at random times. I am lactose intolerant, but have tried many different foods and most of them give me cramps and it usually happens in the mornings.

Doctor

A:   Lactose intolerance is a common problem worldwide, where patients must avoid milk and dairy products to improve symptoms. Symptoms in patients with lactose intolerance may include abdominal fullness or bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence following the ingestion of milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
Dietetic advice should be sought to ensure nutritional adequacy of the diet. Lactose intolerance should be confirmed with a lactose challenge and the development of symptoms. There are few guidelines on how to manage lactose intolerance but the mainstay of management would be complete avoidance initially, for at least a 4 week period, of all lactose containing products. Following this lactose-containing products should be introduced as tolerated, by individual symptoms and to ensure the diet is not being restricted unnecessarily.

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