Patient Comments: Lactose Intolerance - Symptoms

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: Jim, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 19

I have recently self-tested for lactose intolerance after talking to my doctor about a burning sensation after bowel movements. The burning was so severe that it was causing hemorrhoids. After one day of eliminating milk from my diet, the relief was immediate. I had previously consumed at least two glasses of milk a day. I will now try lactase tablets before consuming milk.

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Comment from: Lincoln NE, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I was just diagnosed with lactose intolerance last week after a few months of experiencing bloating, distension, loose stools, diarrhea and gas cramps. I also have noticed more pronounced symptoms in the second half of my menstrual cycle, from ovulation to the beginning of my period. I spoke with a dietician yesterday who said that no one knows why people just become intolerant, but she indicated that it may be hormonal. When I described my experience, she nodded her head and said she worked in an OBGYN clinic and has heard that the intolerance symptoms do fluctuate around a woman's menstrual cycle.

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Comment from: Scotto, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 26

My first symptom was gas noise in my gut followed by a skipped heartbeat sensation. This in turn led to anxiety that further exacerbated the heart symptoms. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized with these heart symptoms that eventually were diagnosed as lactose intolerance. All I needed was a Lactaid pill before eating dairy and I would have been fine. But my lack of knowledge led me down the wrong path. Hopefully, this will be helpful to someone out there.

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Comment from: sweet and petite, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I was wondering if any women diagnosed with lactose intolerance find that their symptoms are more pronounced during the second half of your menstrual cycles. To the health care providers on this forum, can fluctuating hormone levels affect the level of lactose intolerance, or is it just PMS?

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Published: July 01

I have always been lactose intolerant, but the symptoms became more prevalent as I grew older. By 16, the skim milk powder in granola bars would affect me with cramping, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and very bad gas. The cramping has since led to severe pain along with the burning in the stomach, flatulence, diarrhea, bloating and distention, loss of appetite, vomiting and fatigue.

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Published: June 27

At the onset of disease I developed profound belching. My PCP thought I had gall bladder problems and ordered a sonogram. The sonogram showed a large stone in the gall bladder. So out came the gall bladder. Nine days after the surgery I was belching again. Now with sinusitis, globus, and GERD like symptoms. Finally after one year and many unnecessary tests I tested positive for extreme lactose intolerance. No more lactose - no more symptoms.

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Published: June 05

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, burning in the stomach, lower intestinal cramping, and fatigue.

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Published: June 02

When I first knew of my intolerance, I was hospitalized for food poisoning. It turned out that I was intolerant of the milk I was drinking and the ice cream I was eating, and the cheese in my diet. It acted like a poison when I did not avoid these foods.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: October 06

My symptoms seem to mirror lactose intolerance. I am waiting for test results to return to be certain but my GP is leaning towards this diagnoses. What is interesting is the discussion about the influence that hormones may play. I have been experiencing pre-menopausal symptoms since about February (it is now October) and have begun to have intermittent periods in the last four months which is a fairly certain indication that hormonal changes are taking place. Curiously my 'lactose intolerance' symptoms began about 9 weeks ago.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Lactose Intolerance - Causes Question: When did you develop lactose intolerance?
Lactose Intolerance - Diet Question: What's it like to try the elimination diet? What were the results?
Lactose Intolerance - Treatment Question: What forms of treatment, including diet and supplements, have been effective for your lactose intolerance?

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