Health Library

 

Who Is Affected by Lactose Intolerance

Topic Overview

Symptoms of lactose intolerance (belly pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea) are very common, but not everyone who has symptoms can be diagnosed with the condition. Lactose intolerance is diagnosed by a breath hydrogen test ordered by your doctor.

Lactose intolerance occurs more often in Native Americans and people of Asian, African, and South American descent than among people of European descent. Experts believe that lactose intolerance is directly related to how long ago a person's ancestors were introduced to dairy products.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as of March 12, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Additional Resources

First Nurse

  • First Nurse: Talk to one of our nurses 24 hours a day for free health care advice, resources and referrals! Call 515-239-6877 or 800-524-6877.
  • Health Library: Search our online library containing information on health conditions, medications, medical tests, and more.

Symptom Checker

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker