Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine doesn't produce enough enzyme (lactase) to digest milk sugar (lactose).
If you're lactase deficient, lactose in your food moves into the colon instead of being processed and absorbed. In the colon, normal bacteria interact with undigested lactose, causing the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. There are three types of lactose intolerance:
This is the most common type of lactose intolerance. People who develop primary lactose intolerance start life producing plenty of lactase — a necessity for infants, who get all their nutrition from milk. As children replace milk with other foods, their lactase production normally decreases, but remains high enough to digest the amount of dairy in a typical adult diet.
In primary lactose intolerance, lactase production falls off sharply, making milk products difficult to digest by adulthood.
It's possible, but rare, for babies to be born with lactose intolerance caused by a complete absence of lactase activity. This disorder is passed from generation and is called autosomal recessive, meaning that both the mother and the father must pass on the same gene variant for a child to be affected.
I will be talking about its treatment in the upcoming blog. Stay connected.