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symptoms of lactose intolerance

One of the most common food intolerances is lactose intolerance. The difficulty with this common allergy is that it can be difficult to spot the symptoms of lactose intolerance as they can differ from person to person, however at Test My Allergy, we have over ten years’ experience helping people to understand what they are, what you need to avoid, and what you need to do after. 


What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be hard to pin down, but there are some common things to look out for. 


How soon can you see symptoms of lactose intolerance? 

If you are dealing with undiagnosed or unconfirmed lactose intolerance, the symptoms often appear at any time from 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating the food, so keep your eyes peeled for the following reactions: 

•  Diarrhea: This is loose, watery stools (bowel movements). You have diarrhea if you have loose stools three or more times in one day. Acute diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts a short time. It is a common problem. It usually lasts about one or two days, but it may last longer. Then it goes away on its own.

•  Gas or abdominal bloating/pain: Gas is the most common cause of bloating, especially after eating. Gas builds up in the digestive tract when undigested food gets broken down or when you swallow air. Everyone swallows air when they eat or drink.

•  Cramping:  Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing after consuming dairy.


If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, these will range by how much you have eaten, when you ate it, and your intolerance level (mild to severe). We recommend keeping a symptoms diary for 28-days so you know what causes each reaction 


Now you understand the three top symptoms take a look at your habits around food and see what works for you. If monitoring the symptoms of lactose intolerance you do determine that you have lactose intolerance, you may want to consider backing up the suspicion with blood allergy and intolerance test from Test My Allergy. Not only will it help you to confirm what you already suspect, but it will also help potentially make you aware of any other sensitivities that you may have that you wouldn’t have thought to watch for otherwise. The next step is taking part in an elimination diet, which we fully recommend at Test My Allergy. Once you can understand your body and digestive system, it’s easy to work out what’s needed to live a healthy, bloat-free life.