Lactose Intolerance and Lactaid Ultra

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                                                                                                 JUDY DAVIS M.D.,F.A.A.P.                   

1095 E Warner Ave, #102

Fresno,CA 93710

Phone 559-412-8184  Fax 559-438-1174

                                Lactose Intolerance and the Use of Lactaid Ultra

You have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, which means you have a smaller amount of lactase enzyme than normal .Lactase enzyme breaks down the lactose that you eat, so it can be absorbed by your intestine.  If the lactose isn't broken down it won't be absorbed by your intestine and this will give you of some of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating and gas.  To avoid these symptoms after eating lactose, take one to three tablets of Lactaid ultra just prior to eating a meal with lactose.  The amount of Lactaid ultra you need to take is dependent on how much enzyme you have left in your intestine and how much lactose you are eating at that particular meal. We don't know how much lactase enzyme you have left in your intestine. We do know the relative amounts of lactose in different foods however. Milk and ice cream have the highest amount of lactose, soft cheeses have the next highest, hard cheeses have less than soft cheese and yogurt has the least amount of lactose compared to those foods listed above. Some people need only to take one tablet for any of the foods listed above, because they have a significant amount of lactase enzyme in their intestine.  Others need to take three tablets when they are ingesting milk or ice cream and only one tablet when they are eating low lactose containing foods like hard cheeses or yogurt.  You will need to experiment with various amounts of Lactaid tablets with different foods in order to determine how much you need to take in order not to have symptoms of abdominal pain or diarrhea that can occur with too much lactose and too little lactase enzyme.

If you drink Lactaid milk you do not need to take Lactaid ultra tablets, because this milk has been pretreated with the lactase enzyme and does not contain any lactose.

Dairy products are very important to growing children because they provide lots of calcium.  A one to three year-old requires 500 mg of calcium, a four to eight year-old requires 800 mg of calcium and nine to 18 year old requires 1200 mg of calcium per day. If this is not consumed in their diet, calcium can be supplemented by Tums Ultra , which has 400 mg of calcium per tablet or a calcium carbonate tablet which contains five to 600 mg a calcium (depending on the brand).  Children often like Viactiv, which is a chocolate flavored candy containing 500 mg of calcium.

Judy J. Davis, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Board certified in Pediatrics, and Pediatric Gastroenterology.

American Board of Clinical Nutrition

Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of San Francisco-Fresno

Revised 6/17