5 frequently heard complaints with a lactose intolerance

These are the most common complaints with lactose intolerance…

Lactose intolerance is sometimes not easy to recognize. And there are stories of people who only found out later in life that they are lactose intolerant. Yet there is often a red line to be recognized in the physical complaints that people have. In addition, the symptoms of lactose intolerance are usually found in the abdomen and intestines. Skin complaints, eye complaints or respiratory complaints are much less common in lactose intolerance. This is more common with a cow’s milk allergy. Do you want to know which complaints often occur with lactose intolerance? Read the 5 most common complaints below.


Note: Hi, my name is Muriel and I enjoyed writing this article. Because I am Dutch, my English may not be optimal, but I do my best. Sorry for that. But I hope this blog article still inspires and informs you.


1) Flatulence

If you have a lactose intolerance, you cannot tolerate the milk sugar in milk. Your body makes too little lactase to digest the milk sugar. The lactose then passes unchanged from your small intestine into your large intestine. But your colon is not designed for that at all!

As a reaction, your large intestine will ferment the milk sugar and the gases and acids that arise, which you will feel in the form of (stinky) winds. This causes flatulence, because the gas bubbles have to leave your body.


2) Abdominal distention

Because your intestines swell, your stomach often swells up. That is why, unfortunately, flatulence and abdominal distention often go hand in hand. There can be so many gases in your intestines, which also makes your abdomen swollen. There is a lot of rumbling in your stomach and you can hear the bubble gases moving in your body.

It feels like you have swallowed a balloon and your belly looks bigger too. Very annoying, because your clothes will pinch and it feels like your belly is going to explode.


Also read: What is lactose intolerance and how do you recognize it?


3) Abdominal pain

If you have eaten or drunk milk or milk components and you have a lactose intolerance, your body is often completely upset within 2 hours. This can last for several hours. Your stomach and intestines rebel and this often causes abdominal pain.

The abdominal pain can be a nagging pain, but this can also turn into abdominal pain with abdominal cramps. That is often a sign that you need to run to the toilet within a certain amount of time. Diarrhea is then lurking or, if you’re lucky, it comes out in a more solid form.


4) Diarrhea

Unfortunately, diarrhea is also a common complaint with lactose intolerance. Sometimes it takes a while before it is there, but very often it is there all of a sudden! How is that possible?

One of the main reasons why you suddenly have diarrhea is because your intestines are well able to absorb the water from your food. This keeps your stools very heavy and sinks down quickly. Add to that a load of gases and acids (which are created during fermentation) and you have diarrhea that comes on quickly, is thin, smells sour, foams and is sometimes green or yellow in color.


5) Nausea/vomiting

If your body sees something in your body as an ‘invader’, then nausea can arise. With a lactose intolerance, it is the milk sugar that your body sees as an invader. Your body is no longer able to digest the milk sugar and therefore your body decides that the undigested milk sugar must leave your body as quickly as possible.

Many people experience nausea and a bad feeling in the abdomen. If your body thinks it’s really had enough and the milk sugar has to leave your body quickly, your body sends a signal to the vomiting center of your brain. This vomiting center instructs your body to vomit as a reflex. It is annoying and uncomfortable to vomit, but often you feel a lot better afterwards.


How do you deal with the above complaints, such as abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea? Tips are very welcome and feel free to leave them in a comment below!


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5 frequently heard complaints with a lactose intolerance that are common


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