Intolerance or Allergy to Milk
Hello my name is Alani, and my question has to deal with
people who are lactose intolerent! For instance my mom can't have
ANY dairy products not even a tablesoon, and when she takes those
lactose pills they do nothing for her. For instance 10 at one time
and she still gets so sick, I was wondering and had heard about
rice milk. What other medicine of product would be good for her?
First, the disclaimer: I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR. DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING I
WRITE AS A DIAGNOSIS OR A RECOMMENDATION FOR TREATMENT.
Sounds like your mom isn't actually lactose intolerant, but may instead have
an allergy to milk. Lactose intolerant people just can't digest lactose, so
lactose that makes it through the stomach and intestines gets broken down by
bacteria, causing gas and pain. You mother's symptoms aren't consistent
with this, given that very small amounts of dairy products still make her
sick, and lactase pills don't help. So probably the problem is not the
lactose, but something else in the milk.
Rice milk and soy milk are expensive, but they do taste a little bit like
milk. They do not contain any milk, lactose, or milk proteins, so they
should not bother your mother, unless she also has a rice or soy allergy.
My recommendation is this: ask her doctor if she could be allergic to milk.
If her doctor doesn't know, take her to an allergist to find out.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
What you're describing sounds pretty severe for lactose intolerance. You
may actually be talking about a milk allergy. This can be a problem for
babies on formula too. There are a couple of milk substitutes out there,
available in health food stores and increasingly in regular supermarkets.
She can try rice milk or soy milk. I've most often seen them packaged in 3
packs of drink-boxes.
New Haven, Connecticut
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Update: June 2012