Lactose Intolerance Treatment
Lactose intolerance is easy to treat. Although no treatment can improve the body’s ability to produce lactase, you can control your symptoms by watching what you eat and drink and through enzyme (lactase) supplementation.4,5
Avoiding lactose by avoiding milk and dairy products can help you avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance. However, milk and other dairy products are important dietary sources of calcium. Calcium is a mineral our bodies need to build and maintain strong, healthy bones and teeth.1,4 Calcium also serves other important functions in the body, so you need to make sure you are getting enough of it.1 Milk and milk products are also sources of the key nutrients riboflavin, vitamins A and D, and phosphorus.6 In particular, milk is the best food source of Vitamin D, a nutrient essential for normal calcium absorption and bone health. Milk and dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream contain the highest levels of calcium.11
There is good news. If you are lactose intolerant, it doesn’t mean you have to entirely avoid milk and dairy products.1 Most people with lactose intolerance actually retain some lactase activity and do not need to follow a completely lactose-free diet.2,6 Only a small percentage (5-10%) of people need to totally eliminate lactose from their diets.2
Most people with lactose intolerance can consume lactose—up to a certain amount. When this amount of lactose exceeds the amount of lactase they have, they experience the classic symptoms of lactose intolerance.2 The degree of lactose intolerance varies a lot among people, but most individuals can ingest up to 12 ounces (360 mL) of milk a day without experiencing symptoms.5
And there’s more good news! Lactase enzyme supplements, such as LACTAID® tablets and caplets, are available and can help you enjoy dairy products without the worry. Taking a lactase supplement before you enjoy an ice cream cone or a double-cheese pizza can help you avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance. And if you want to enjoy a cold, nutritious glass of milk, LACTAID® drops can be added to your milk at home.