Lactose Intolerance Treatment
If you are diagnosed with lactose intolerance, your gastroenterologist will make dietary recommendations for you. It is important to consult with a professional to ensure that you get enough calcium and other minerals from your diet when you eliminate lactose. Lactose intolerant patients may also be deficient in other digestive enzymes – therefore checking for these deficiencies (disaccharidase deficiencies) may be worthwhile if eliminating lactose doesn’t completely resolve your symptoms.
For those who are significantly affected by even small amounts of lactose, over the counter medications are available. Lactaid is a common one. This medication is taken with or prior to eating lactose-containing food to ease and eliminate symptoms. Additionally, affordable lactose-free options are available in milk, cheese, and other dairy products. May Marschner, PA-C, tells her patients, “Avoiding milk products is the best treatment for those who are symptomatic. Sometimes that doesn’t solve everything though. We have also noticed a lot of overlap between lactase deficiency and other enzyme deficiencies in our patients, so making sure we have the correct diagnosis is always the most important step in caring for our patients.”