4 symptoms and 5 tests for lactose intolerance

  1. Things to remember
  2. Symptoms of lactose intolerance
  3. Symptoms common to certain diseases, allergies or other food intolerances
  4. 5 tests to make sure you are lactose intolerant
  5. Lactase supplementation, a simple, effective and long-lasting solution to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

1. Things to remember

L'lactose intolerance causes digestive symptoms due to a lactase enzymesuch as bloating and diarrhoea.

Even if some symptoms are common to other food intolerances, allergies or diseases, it is possible to isolate the manifestations in order to identify it with certainty by means of various tests, to be carried out by oneself or in a medical environment.

In addition to the difficult task of avoiding lactose in the diet, lactase supplementation remains a simple and effective way to to avoid the symptoms.

Lactose intolerance affects almost 70% of the world's population, so it's a 'normal' phenomenon on a global scale. In fact, lactose intolerance was quite common among our prehistoric ancestors: after weaning, children and adults no longer consumed milk, so our bodies naturally became lactose intolerant. However, 10,000 years ago, the domestication of cattle in the Caucasus got humans used to consuming more milk: the adult body began to produce more lactase in order to better digest the milk. lactose.

Today, the European lactose intolerant population is estimated at 40%. In France, nearly 5 million people are affected in their daily lives by the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

So how can this discomfort be remedied? How can you tell if the symptoms you experience in your daily life are lactose intolerance? Detailed answers in this article.

Lactose intolerance: definition

Lactose intolerance is a deficiency of the enzyme lactase in our bodies.

Lactose is the sugar in milkLactose is a complex sugar made up of glucose and galactose. For lactose to be properly digested, these two simple sugars must be dissociated in the digestive tract. This is the enzyme lactase which does this work. In humans, lactase is produced in the small intestine until weaning, enabling babies to assimilate breast milk. As we grow older, the enzyme gradually disappears from our bodies, so we become lactose intolerant, as we no longer need to consume mother's milk.

Around the world, it is the Caucasian populations that have remained tolerant to lactose: 10,000 years ago, they got into the habit of consuming the dairy products of their cattle, so their bodies continued to produce lactase. Today, lactose-tolerant people represent 25% of the world's population. Lactose intolerance therefore affects the rest of the population to varying degrees of discomfort.

Lactose intolerance is the inability of the digestive tract to separate the two simple sugars in milk. Without this dissociation, the intestinal bacteria attack the lactose, producing gas, which in turn causes the digestive symptoms characteristic of lactose intolerance.

2. Symptoms of lactose intolerance

Let's start with a few technical details, necessary to understand the mechanism of lactose intolerance and its symptoms.

What are lactose and lactase?

The lactose is the sugar (carbohydrate) in milk. It is a complex sugar (disaccharide), composed of two simple sugars, glucose and galactose, which must be separated in the digestive tract in order to be digested normally.

It is the enzyme lactase which performs this operation. Lactase is produced naturally in the small intestine of all mammals from infancy until weaning, in order to assimilate breast milk. Adults with a "Lactase Persistent" or lactose tolerant phenotype continue to produce lactase. This is a legacy of the herder-farmer populations who used to consume dairy products from their livestock about 10,000 years ago. Mainly Caucasians, Lactose tolerant people now represent only about 25% of the world populationThis is particularly the case in northern Europe.

What is lactose intolerance?

In people with the "Non Persistent Lactase" or lactose intolerant phenotype, lactase production stops (partially or completely) after weaning, as mammals originally do not consume milk as adults. This is what lactase enzyme deficiency in the digestive tract which constitutes lactose intolerance - which is therefore simply the inability of the body to separate, in order to digest it, the lactose contained in milk (of all types: cow's, sheep's, goat's or maternal) and its by-products (cream, whey, fresh cheese).

However, if the lactose is not broken down by lactase, intestinal bacteria will attack the lactose without breaking it down, triggering a fermentation process which will produce gases (H2 and CO2) and, through its effects on the food bolus, will cause the symptoms of digestive discomfort characteristic of lactose intolerance - in particular bloating and diarrhoea. 

3. What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

These are the ones frompoor digestionThis is interrupted by lactose fermentation. 

There are four types of symptoms:

Intestinal discomfort - or " gastrointestinal disorders "The first symptoms are bloating as a result of gas production (from lactose fermentation) in the intestine, which can result in : abdominal swelling, belly gurgling, abdominal cramps, and eventually flatulence (Other various "stomach aches" may also occur before digestion: heartburn (related to gastric acidity) and gastro-oesophageal reflux on the one hand, and nausea and vomiting on the other hand.The most annoying and pressing symptoms are diarrhoea or colic Among the various longer-term consequences of the repetition of these symptoms, we can finally note :

irritation of the mucous membrane of the small intestine and colon (due to the passage of acid diarrhoea) which can disrupt the integrity of the intestinal flora and lead to a weakening of the immune system (through nutritional deficiencies),
- of the stress (anxiety related to the onset of symptoms, sometimes difficult to manage in society), migraines, and even hyperactivity (due to nervousness induced by the repetition of symptoms),
- a chronic fatigue This is related to the stress of the onset of these symptoms, but also to incomplete assimilation of the food ingested during the meal concerned,
- of the depression (the recurring feeling of not being able to control one's daily digestion and of being overwhelmed and overtaken by these inconveniences and sufferings).

The "gastro symptoms" we have described usually appear between 15 minutes and 4 hours after consuming a product containing lactose.

They are characteristic of incomplete digestion, disrupted by the fermentation of lactose in the intestine. Digestion is finally interrupted by the precipitous evacuation (through diarrhoea) of the food bolus, whose components are therefore not processed or assimilated by the body as during normal, slow and progressive digestion.

It should be noted that these symptoms of lactose intolerance vary based on two determining factors:

  1. on the one hand the amount of lactose ingested (much more important in fresh cheeses than in mature cheeses, for example),
  2. and on the other hand the severity of lactose intolerance of the individual: it can be moderate if the intestine still produces lactase in small quantities, or severe if it no longer produces any.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance are those of poor digestion, interrupted by lactose fermentation. However, there are 4 main types of symptoms of intolerance.

The first thing to note is the appearance, after consumption of lactose products, of intestinal digestive discomfort (gastrointestinal disorder). This discomfort is manifested by intestinal swelling, borborygma, abdominal cramps or flatulence. Prior to digestion, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux, and in some cases nausea and vomiting, may also occur. Lactose fermentation can also lead to diarrhoea and colic. In this case, the digestion of the entire food bolus is disturbed.

Lactose intolerance and the repetition of these symptoms can have long-term consequences. For example, the mucous membrane of the small intestine and the colon can become irritated, which can disrupt the proper functioning of the intestinal flora and even weaken the immune system due to nutritional deficiencies. Lactose intolerance and the daily discomfort it causes can also lead to stress, migraines, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue and, when digestion becomes increasingly difficult to manage on a daily basis, depression.

You should know that these symptoms can vary from one person to another depending on two essential factors: the quantity of lactose ingested, which differs according to the food products, but also the level of severity of the lactose intolerance. Thus, intolerance is severe when the intestine no longer produces lactase at all, and moderate when lactase is still produced in small quantities.

How to differentiate between lactose intolerance, allergies and inflammatory bowel diseases?

Lactose intolerance has symptoms in common with certain diseases, allergies and intolerances from other food categories.

First, let us note the difference between intolerance and allergy. An allergy causes the immune system to react to an allergen. However, an allergy to milk causes more severe symptoms: swelling of the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, skin reactions, blood in the stools and, in the most serious cases, anaphylactic shock.

Lactose intolerance should also not be confused with an inflammatory bowel or digestive disease. Crohn's disease, for example, has similar symptoms and is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

There are also autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease which have similar symptoms, but which can lead to malnutrition, as the folds of the intestine no longer allow the absorption of nutrients.

It should also be noted that gluten intolerance can manifest itself in the same type of symptoms as lactose intolerance.

How do you know if you are lactose intolerant?

As you can see, it is important to be able to isolate the symptoms in order to identify lactose intolerance with precision and certainty. There are 5 different tests to confirm or rule out lactose intolerance.

The eviction test consists of removing lactose from the diet for 3 days. Any improvements due to this new diet will be noted. Lactose intolerance is obvious if there is a clear improvement.

There is also the lactase enzyme supplementation test: if, by ingesting an lactase capsule the symptoms disappear after consuming lactose, then there is indeed an intolerance. The Lactolerance range offers this solution to prevent the symptoms of lactose intolerance. There are two formulas available: the 24-hour Protection formula, designed for all degrees of intolerance and taking the form of a daily capsule, and the 45-minute/1-hour formula, which involves taking lactase on demand.

Doctors also suggest a breathing test (breath test), the genetic test and the blood sugar test. Note that the genetic test can only diagnose primary lactose intolerance, which is hereditary.

Symptoms common to certain diseases, allergies or other food intolerances


Distinguishing between lactose intolerance and milk allergy

First of all, it is important to distinguish between lactose intolerance and milk allergy.

Intolerance is not an allergy Food intolerance: while food intolerance is simply the inability of the body to digest certain foods due to a lack of lactase production, an allergy causes a more or less violent reaction of the immune system, which considers itself attacked by an allergen.

While some digestive symptoms are common to both intolerance and allergy (bloating, diarrhoea), in contrast the immunological reactions of milk allergy are generally more severeThey can be respiratory (difficulty in breathing due to swelling of the mucous membranes of the respiratory system: nose, throat), cutaneous (urticaria, eczema), but also cause diarrhoea with the presence of blood in the stools, and, more rarely, anaphylactic shock (extreme allergic reaction in subjects who are hypersensitive to certain allergens).

Crohn's disease, coeliac disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases

The Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive system that involves the immune system and, together with ulcerative colitis, is a member of the chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). As it affects the digestive system, it shares symptoms with lactose intolerance, such as bloating and diarrhoea, or nausea and vomiting, but diarrhoea, which is occasional in lactose intolerance, is chronic in Crohn's disease and can lead to undernutrition and weight loss, and abdominal pain is also severe and persistent.

The celiac diseasean autoimmune disease linked to the consumption of gluten and hyperactivity of the digestive immune system, leading to inflammation of the intestinal walls, manifests itself in the same type of symptoms as lactose intolerance, but the chronic irritation of the intestine destroys the villi, the 'folds' of the intestine that allow the absorption of most nutrients, and can lead to malnutrition with serious health consequences.

Other food intolerances

There are multiple food intolerances, starting with gluten (found in wheat and oats). It can manifest itself with the same type of symptoms as lactose intolerance (described above), or even cause chronic diarrhoea leading to anaemia and fatigue, but on the other hand it is often asymptomatic, causing only minor symptoms and discomfort at the time, only to reveal itself later.

The question therefore arises as to the appropriate method for isolate symptoms and identify lactose intolerance with certainty. Several tests exist for this purpose, to be carried out by oneself or in a medical environment.

4. Five tests to make sure you are lactose intolerant

Here are 5 tests for lactose intolerance, including you can do the first 2 yourselfThe other three were carried out in a medical environment.

In any case, do not hesitate to consult your doctor, dietician or gastroenterologist.

-> Eviction test

This test consists of cutting out all products containing lactose from your diet for 3 days (keeping a close eye on the labels and the composition of everything you eat - beware of hidden lactose, especially in cold cuts and ready meals!)

Note any improvements (which should be rapid): have your intestinal discomfort and gastro symptoms disappeared? If not, then your digestive problems are probably not related to lactose intolerance.

If there is a clear improvement (no more bloating or diarrhoea after meals), then lactose intolerance is likely, and you can do the following test to find out for sure.

-> Lactase enzyme supplementation test

Before consuming a product containing lactose (a glass of milk, fresh cheese), take 2 capsules of lactase (for example Lactolérance 9000).

If no digestive discomfort occurs in the following hours, contrary to what you are used to, this means that the lactase has done its job and has broken down the lactose into simple sugars, which you have assimilated without any problems. Lactose intolerance is then probable, and you can then continue to adopt this effective long-term solution (see last point of this article).

If, on the other hand, the 2 lactase capsules have not prevented the usual intestinal symptoms, then other possibilities than lactose intolerance should be explored.

-> Breath test

This test is usually done in a hospital or by a gastroenterologist. It should be done on an empty stomach and consists of measuring the level of hydrogen in the air you breathe out, once before and several times after drinking a large glass of milk. The result is immediate and will indicate, depending on the level measured, your degree of lactose intolerance - or lack thereof.

The test takes about 2 hours and the experience can be unpleasant, depending on your body's reaction to the large amount of lactose ingested.

-> Genetic testing

Even without a prescription, you can ask for a genetic test, knowing in advance that it may only detect a primary lactose intolerance (i.e. hereditary, written into your genes), not a secondary intolerance (caused by illness, medical treatment or surgery for example).

A blood test or a sample of cells from the inside of the cheek will tell you whether you have a genetic predisposition to this intolerance.

It should be noted that the cost, which is relatively high (about 140 €), is not covered by the Social Security.

-> Test glycemic

The latter test, which requires a blood test, involves measuring the blood glucose level before and after ingesting lactose.

Because the enzyme lactase splits lactose into galactose and glucose, the rise in your blood glucose level (blood sugar) after ingesting lactose will indicate that you are producing enough lactase to do the splitting of the lactose - and are therefore not intolerant.

If the blood sugar level does not rise or rises only slightly, then it is likely that you do not produce enough lactase enzyme to digest lactose, and are therefore lactose intolerant.


5. Lactase supplementation, a simple, effective and long-lasting solution to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance results from a deficient production of the enzyme lactase by your body. Lactase supplementation consists of compensating for this deficiency with food supplements.

This is what the Lactolerance rangeTo avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

While lactase-based dietary supplements have been proven effective for over 30 years in the United States, the Physiosynthesis Laboratory introduced this solution in France in 2010. The lactase contained in Lactolerance finally make all the foods containing lactoseThis improves digestion and helps to eliminate the symptoms of lactose intolerance. This makes eating out and socialising easier.

2 different formulas are available to you:

  • 24-hour protection package1 capsule daily: designed for all degrees of intolerance, Lactolérance 1Day permanently combats the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Based on the principle of probiotics, the lactic ferments in Lactolerance 1Day have been specially selected for optimal lactase production by the microbiota. Lactolerance 1Day starts to be effective after one week and reaches its maximum effectiveness after 6 weeks of daily use, allowing you to finally stop worrying about the inconveniences of a varied daily diet, especially when you often eat out! During the adaptation period, Lactolérance 9000 is recommended for every lactose intake.

  • Protection formula 45 min/1h - On demand : capsules Lactolérance 4500 (for moderate lactose intolerance) and Lactolérance 9000 (twice as concentrated, for severe intolerance), available in a pillbox or bottle, are to be taken just before consuming a product containing lactose (their duration of effectiveness is 45 minutes to 1 hour1 to 2 capsules are sufficient). They work immediately, from the first use.

Discovery Pack 24 day protection against lactose intolerance




There are about 75% people worldwide who are considered lactose intolerant. In Europe, however, lactose intolerance is less common, with 40%. Although lactose intolerance is common, there is currently no cure to reactivate lactase production in the body. However, this intolerance can cause real discomfort in everyday life and be particularly disabling for people with severe intolerance. So what are the consequences of lactose intolerance on our bodies? Can we suffer from deficiencies if we stop eating foods containing lactose? This article provides some answers.


What is lactose intolerance?


Let's get back to lactose intolerance and its definition. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose (milk carbohydrate), because the body does not produce enough lactase. Scientifically, this is known asalactasia This can be partial (the body produces little lactase) or total (the body produces no lactase at all).


Lactase, which we lack in case of intolerance, is an enzyme usually produced in the small intestine. In concrete terms, lactase separates lactose into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. It is this separation that makes the lactose assimilable by the digestive tract. Lactase is naturally produced in our bodies when we are babies: during the first few weeks of life, lactase activity is at its maximum to digest breast milk, then it gradually decreases until it reaches a residual level of 5 to 10% when we become adults.


Lactose intolerance, according to statistics, is a common phenomenon. Lactose tolerance is therefore still marginal on a global scale: it can be found in the Caucasus regions, where milk has been an integral part of the diet for 10,000 years!


Finally, note that lactose intolerance is often hereditary. Furthermore, without a cure, the only way to consume lactose in case of intolerance is to opt for lactase supplementation.


What are the consequences of lactose intolerance?


The consequences of lactose intolerance are first of all physical symptoms which vary according to the severity of the intolerance. After consuming a product containing lactose, one may experience borborygma, abdominal pain, flatulence or diarrhoea. Some people may even experience nausea, vomiting, headaches or constipation. This type of disorder appears between 15 minutes and 4 hours after ingesting lactose. However, some symptoms may appear 24 hours later, which makes the diagnosis of intolerance more difficult.


Faced with such symptoms, lactose intolerance can be a real handicap in everyday life. Severe intolerance can lead people affected to cut themselves off from their social life in order to better control their lactose intake. In restaurants or at friends' houses, patience and education are required, as lactose intolerance is still relatively unknown in France.


Consciously or unconsciously, people with lactose intolerance limit their consumption of products containing lactose. However, lactose is present in a great many foods without our being systematically informed. Of course, lactose is present in dairy products, but it can also be found in products such as pizza, ready meals, pastries, biscuits, flavoured crisps and cold cuts. Furthermore, lactose is also found in medicines as it is used as an excipient; 100% of contraceptive pills contain lactose. There are also many misconceptions on the subject: for example, people wrongly think that butter contains a lot of lactose when in fact it contains only residual traces and is therefore quite well assimilated by people whose intolerance is not severe. Rest assured, however, that the law now obliges manufacturers to indicate in bold the allergens present in their products: lactose is therefore indicated under the name "milk".


Can lactose intolerance lead to deficiencies, especially in calcium?


It all depends on the level of lactose intolerance and the symptoms experienced. An adult or child whose intolerance causes nausea and vomiting is at risk of becoming deficient. In this case, severe diarrhoea can prevent the absorption of nutrients that are then expelled by the body too quickly.


However, people who are lactose intolerant can do without any food containing lactose. Products containing lactose also provide a good daily intake of calcium. Calcium plays a key role in our bodies, as it is essential for our bone structure. It also enables muscle contraction, blood clotting and the activation of enzymes and the release of hormones. We need calcium throughout our lives: when we grow up, but also in adulthood, especially to prevent osteoporosis.


Also, if you are severely lactose intolerant, you should not neglect the equally important importance of calcium intake. Even if you have chosen to cut out lactose-containing products, it is essential that you look for other sources of calcium. There are many foods that will help you get your fill of calcium without containing lactose. These include legumes, nuts, cereal products and vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and chard. Some seafood and fish also contain a lot of calcium, such as shrimp (cooked), sea bass and sea bream.


Your lactose intake (if the intolerance is not severe) can also be controlled: you can consume small quantities (6 grams in one intake), but also split the intake of small quantities of lactose throughout the day. Finally, you can also opt for lactase supplementation, which will allow you to consume products containing calcium and lactose normally.


Milk intolerance is actually very common in the world, with almost 75% of the population considered to be lactose intolerant. It can even be said that milk intolerance is the norm! However, lactose intolerance can be experienced differently depending on its degree of intensity. This is why Lactolerance offers a supplement that allows everyone to live better with intolerance and to consume lactose-containing products again with complete peace of mind.


However, let's take stock of milk intolerance, its origins, its consequences and, above all, the ways in which we can live with alactasia more serenely.


What is lactose?


Firstly, it is important to understand that it is the milk sugar that causes milk intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the more common term for alactasia or milk intolerance caused by the milk carbohydrate. The lactose in milk is a so-called complex sugar that can only be properly digested when it is broken down into the two simple sugars galactose and glucose. In order to do this, our body needs to rely on an enzyme, lactase, which is produced in the small intestine and which, through its action, makes the lactose available to the digestive tract.


Lactose is found in all dairy products, but it can also be found in so-called 'processed' products, i.e. industrial products such as ready meals, pizzas, biscuits, flavoured crisps or pastries. Surprisingly, lactose can also be found in charcuterie, sometimes in greater quantities than in cheese: in this case, lactose is used as a preservative and texturiser. Finally, lactose is present in medicines as an excipient; birth control pills, for example, all contain lactose.


In everyday life, lactose can be easily identified in the products we consume, as the law requires a very clear indication of the ingredients. Lactose must be indicated in bold under the name "milk". If you are intolerant to milk, you will have to learn to identify lactose and put an end to certain preconceived ideas: for example, butter contains only traces of lactose, whereas milk powder contains 50% of lactose!


Why are we milk intolerant?


Milk intolerance is a phenomenon that affects a very large proportion of the world's population for reasons that date back to prehistoric times! At birth, the lactase gene is activated in order to feed the baby with mother's milk, even in our prehistoric ancestors. However, as soon as the child can be weaned, the lactase gene is deactivated. So our bodies naturally stop producing lactase when we no longer need milk for food. Therefore, no one is naturally lactose tolerant as an adult.


However, it is necessary to add a nuance. 10,000 years ago, certain peoples began to breed and use milk for food. The organism of the Caucasian populations gradually adapted to this milk consumption. The enzyme lactase was produced by the organism even in adulthood, making the population relatively tolerant to lactose. This genetic mutation was passed on to the descendants of these people. It should be noted, however, that this mutation remains exceptional and that the majority of the adult population remains lactose intolerant.


Here are some figures to help you better understand the normality of intolerance: in South America, 50-80% of the population is intolerant, 60-80% in Black Africa and 95% in Asia. In Europe, there are about 40% of intolerant people and in France, 5 million people.


How to live with milk intolerance?


To date, there is no curative treatment that allows adults to reactivate lactase production and thus consume milk without discomfort. It should also be noted that intolerance is often hereditary or that certain medical treatments can lead to temporary or permanent milk intolerance.


Milk intolerance can cause different symptoms depending on its degree of intensity. From 15 minutes to 4 hours after ingesting lactose, an intolerant person may experience borborygma, abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhoea. In other cases, nausea, vomiting, constipation and migraines may also occur.


There are several tests to identify lactose intolerance: the eviction test, the breathing test, the tolerance test and the genetic test. If one of these tests has helped you to identify milk intolerance, you will need to reorganise your diet in order to live better with this intolerance on a daily basis. It is not always easy to avoid lactose, as it is present even in "non-dairy" foods such as cold cuts or industrial preparations. Trust the labels, which must indicate the presence of an allergen such as milk. The following ingredients should alert you: milk, whey, milk powder, butter, whey, lactulose, cream, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin. Do not hesitate to discuss this with a dietician, but also with your pharmacist who can note this intolerance in your file and thus avoid giving you medicines containing lactose.


Of course, you can make a specific list of foods containing lactose and thus avoid the symptoms. But of course, there may be foods that you particularly enjoy and want to continue to eat. Remember, milk intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, so the body can be given what it needs to digest lactose properly. Lactase supplementation has been around for more than 30 years and has proven its effectiveness. Packaged in the form of dry capsules, this supplementation allows adults to improve their quality of life: it is sufficient to take one capsule before the absorption of lactose to avoid the symptoms of milk intolerance. This makes eating out and socialising much easier.


Lactose is an element found in many dairy products, but also in industrial foods. Scientifically, lactose is what we call milk sugar. It is a complex sugar that our body can only digest thanks to a special enzyme, lactase. Because our bodies do not produce enough lactase, many of us suffer from varying degrees of lactose intolerance. While there are many solutions to intolerance, lactose allergy, which is actually a misnomer because it is an allergy to cow's milk proteinLactose intolerance and milk allergy have different types of symptoms and require different management. Let's take a look at lactose intolerance and milk allergy.


How is lactose allergy defined?


Firstly, milk allergy affects a small number of people compared to lactose intolerance, which affects 75% of the world's population. Secondly, it should be remembered that an allergy is a hypersensitivity of the body to substances known as allergens that can be found, for example, in the air and in food. An allergy is therefore caused by exposure to an allergen to which our body is sensitive. Allergy is also caused by a disturbance in the immune system and therefore by a loss of tolerance of our body to specific substances. In short, when confronted with the allergenic substance, our body produces an inappropriate reaction which corresponds to the manifestation of the allergy. Food allergies can affect both children and adults.


Children in particular can experience a milk allergy, which can however disappear in adulthood. Cow's milk allergy (or CMLA) affects the immune system of babies allergic to cow's milk proteins. In general, milk allergy is rare in adults (0.5%) and when it does occur, it manifests itself with symptoms that may be more intense than in the case of lactose intolerance.


What is the difference between lactose allergy and lactose intolerance?


Unlike lactose intolerance, milk allergy is very uncommon in adults. It is, however, more common in young children and generally disappears around the age of two or three. Milk allergy is therefore a disorder of the immune system: the body produces lGe antibodies which, when confronted with cow's milk proteins, trigger reactions such as diarrhoea, vomiting, skin rash, wheezing, runny nose or cough. Because it is an allergy, this reaction is often very rapid, occurring within seconds of ingesting a product containing milk protein. In addition, you should know that in the case of an allergy, it only takes a small amount of cow's milk protein to cause an allergic reaction.


As you can see, allergy involves the immune system, whereas intolerance is caused by a deficient enzyme in the digestive system. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the sugar in milk, allergy is an allergic reaction to cow's milk proteins. Unlike intolerant people, an allergic person will not be able to ingest milk proteins, even in very small quantities. Finally, the symptoms between allergy and intolerance can be similar except that intolerance does not cause respiratory or skin symptoms.

Lactose is present in many food products. However, it is a complex sugar that many people find difficult to digest. This is called lactose intolerance.

How do you know if you are lactose intolerant? Is it possible to go lactose-free in your daily life and what can you cook without lactose? Is it also possible to eat lactose without experiencing digestive problems? And finally, is it possible to live without lactose? Here are the answers to all these questions.

How do I test for lactose intolerance?

If you experience discomfort or symptoms after consuming foods containing lactose, it is essential to carry out a test. For this, you can consult your general practitioner and a gastroenterologist in order to get the best advice.

There are several types of lactose intolerance tests: the avoidance test, the breathing test, the tolerance test and the genetic test. It should also be noted that scans and MRI scans do not reveal lactose intolerance.

The eviction test is the most frequently recommended test to start investigations, it is indeed very simple and can be performed at home. This intolerance test consists of three steps. The first step is to remove all dairy products or products containing lactose from your diet for three days. Once the three days have passed, you note any changes: if you find that the symptoms persist, you should explore other avenues. If, however, the symptoms have disappeared, lactose can be consumed again to check that the usual discomfort has returned.

The breath test is a test that is carried out at a laboratory or hospital. It consists of measuring the level of hydrogen exhaled before and after the intake of lactose. If it is found that you have produced more than 20ppm of hydrogen, this means that the digestion of lactose is incomplete and that you are indeed intolerant.

The tolerance test measures blood sugar levels after lactose intake. The genetic test is used to identify primary lactose intolerance and takes the form of a blood or saliva test.

At Lactolérance, we recommend that you start with an eviction test, which you can complete if necessary according to the advice of your doctor. We can also refer you to a lactase supplementation test: to do this, you must consume lactose after taking capsules containing lactase, the enzyme that enables lactose to be digested. If by compensating for the lack of lactase you have found that the symptoms do not reappear then you are certainly lactose intolerant.

How to eat lactose-free?

Lactose intolerance in everyday life can be really disabling, especially when it causes severe symptoms. Moreover, it is also difficult to completely eliminate lactose from one's diet. In fact, people think straight away of banning all dairy products from their daily diet: however, lactose is hidden in many other foods! Lactose can be found, for example, in cold cuts and ready-made meals, as it is a preservative. Lactose is also hidden in medicines as an excipient: for example, 100% of contraceptive pills in France contain lactose!

Once all possible sources of lactose have been identified, the next step is to manage to eat outside the home. It is not always easy to explain lactose intolerance at friends' houses or restaurants. Eating lactose-free and avoiding symptoms therefore also requires education and patience!

How to cook without lactose?

It is possible to cook without lactose! Many recipes exist and they are just as tasty! Rice pudding, gratin dauphinois, spreads, flan or pancakes: all these recipes that we like because they contain dairy products can be made without lactose.

In fact, it's easy to find a product that's equivalent to milk and has the same texture: for example, almond milk can be used instead of milk in a recipe for pancakes. You can also simply replace cow's milk with rice milk in a rice pudding - it's even tastier! You can also prepare a lactose-free gratin dauphinois The aim of this recipe is to reproduce the melt-in-your-mouth texture typical of this dish. To get the melt-in-your-mouth potatoes, you can use milk and cream, but in a vegetable version: oats will work just fine! The same goes for the spread and its characteristic texture: almond milk gives the same creamy texture as cow's milk containing lactose.

As you can see, when you know all the lactose substitutes, you can cook without lactose and get such tasty recipes!

How to digest lactose?

Of course, it is difficult to replace a good cheese or go without raclette in winter! When you particularly enjoy gourmet foods containing lactose, intolerance can be even more difficult to live with.

However, it should be remembered that lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase. You should therefore know that it is possible to make up for this deficit by supplementing the body. At Lactolerance, we offer you lactase capsules to be taken before consuming food containing lactose. These food supplements are divided into three categories:

  • 24-hour protection for all levels of intolerance
  • 1 hour protection for moderate intolerance
  • 1 hour protection for severe intolerance.

Thanks to lactase supplementation and in particular thanks to the 24-hour protection, it is quite possible to lead a normal life while being lactose intolerant!


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