Lactose Intolerance Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Elgin, IL, South Elgin, IL & Lake In The Hills, IL

If you’re lacking a certain enzyme (lactase), dairy products can cause the bloating, gas, and stomach cramps you’re experiencing. To find out if you’re lactose intolerant, schedule a visit with the board-certified specialists at the Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elgin, Illinois. These dedicated health care experts use their considerable medical expertise and the most advanced technology available to provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. They also offer a warm and friendly environment that makes you feel welcome. Call today or book your appointment online.

Lactose Intolerance Q & A

What is Lactose Intolerance?

When your digestive system is healthy and functioning normally, your small intestine produces an enzyme called lactase. This enzyme breaks down the lactose found in dairy products so that your bloodstream can absorb and make good use of the resulting simple sugars (glucose and galactose) that your cells use for energy.

Lactose intolerance occurs when you’re not producing the lactase enzyme. This lack causes the sugar molecules in dairy products to pass through your system undigested, which causes the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. Without adequate management, lactose intolerance can cause significant digestive issues.

What are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

When lactase is missing from your digestive process, you can experience a number of symptoms after consuming milk products. These include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Frequent burping and passing gas
  • Stomach cramping and generalized abdominal pain

Some individuals with lactose intolerance also experience nausea, vomiting, and an urgent need to go to the bathroom.

What Causes a Decrease in Lactase Production?

A decrease in lactase production is caused by one of there are three types of lactose intolerance:

  • Primary Lactose Intolerance: As an infant, your lactase levels are normally at their highest. This is necessary since you receive all your nutrition from milk products. As you age and your diet changes, your lactase production naturally declines. If it drops too low, you’ll develop primary lactose intolerance.
  • Secondary Lactose Intolerance: This type of lactose intolerance is caused by decreased lactase production after an illness, injury, or surgery involving your small intestine. Celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn's disease are known to trigger lactose intolerance.
  • Congenital Lactose Intolerance: This type of lactose intolerance is rare but can occur in infants who are premature or whose parents both pass on genes that block lactase production.

Once your Illinois Gastroenterology Group specialist has finished diagnostic studies to determine if you have lactose intolerance, they will design a treatment plan that relieves your symptoms but provides adequate calcium and other nutrients your body needs.

Schedule a visit to the Illinois Gastroenterology Group today for an accurate diagnosis and relief from your abdominal symptoms. Call or book your appointment online.