Does Celiac Disease Cause Lactose Intolerance?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

My father has celiac sprue and lactose intolerance, and I am lactose intolerant as well. My father is having a hard time gaining weight is there anything that can help? With my own lactose intolerance, is that a sign of what is to come? Will I be like him, and what can I do to prevent this from happening? My son also has a problem with lactose intolerance. What can I do to help him?

Doctor's response

Weight gain in celiac disease requires adequate food intake and treatment of the celiac disease with a strict, gluten-free diet. Although there is a genetic susceptibility to celiac disease, the influence of genetics is small. Thus, your father's condition is not a sign of "what is to come." The only thing you can do for your son is have him avoid milk products but find a way of giving him adequate amounts of calcium (which he may not get if he stops taking milk products). Usually, lactose intolerant people can eat small amounts of lactose-containing foods such as yogurt or special milk in which the lactose has been digested. You should discuss your son's situation with a dietician for recommendations.

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