Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects your ability to digest the sugar (lactose) in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, or ice cream. When you have this condition, your small intestine doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase that breaks down the lactose in dairy products.
Typically, about 30 minutes to two hours after consuming food or drinks with dairy, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stomachache and cramps
Your symptoms can be severe or mild, depending on how much lactose you have had and how much lactase your body makes.
You are more likely to become lactose intolerant if you are Asian-American, African-American, Mexican-American, or Native-American. Both children and adults can be lactose intolerant.
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