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Who Is Affected by Lactose Intolerance

Topic Overview

Symptoms of lactose intolerance (belly pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea) are very common, but not everyone who has symptoms can be diagnosed with the condition. Lactose intolerance is diagnosed by a breath hydrogen test ordered by your doctor.

Lactose intolerance occurs more often in Native Americans and people of Asian, African, and South American descent than among people of European descent. Experts believe that lactose intolerance is directly related to how long ago a person's ancestors were introduced to dairy products.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised July 19, 2011

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