Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose.
beginning of content

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate or sugar found in milk, and in dairy products made from milk, including yoghurt, ice cream, soft cheeses and butter. Lactose intolerance is not an allergic reaction and the symptoms are rarely serious.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance include wind, bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea and diarrhoea.

If you think you or someone in your care might have lactose intolerance, it’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

The main treatment for lactose intolerance is to reduce the amount of lactose in the diet. That means reducing the amount of dairy products consumed, such as milk, yoghurt, ice cream and soft cheeses.

Lactose intolerance is different from milk allergy, which is an immune reaction to milk or milk products that can be serious. An allergic reaction to milk or milk products can cause symptoms such as an itchy skin, rash, swelling of the lips or difficulty breathing. Seek medical advice urgently if you suspect a serious allergic reaction.

Since a severe allergic reaction should always be treated as a medical emergency, it is also useful to know about first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.

Last reviewed: November 2016

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 480 results

Lactose intolerance - myDr.com.au

Find out about the symptoms, tests and treatments for lactose intolerance.

Read more on myDr website

Lactose intolerance in babies

Lactose intolerance is a condition when your body cant break down a carbohydrate (sugar) called lactose which is present in cows milk, human breast milk, or any other milk from a mammal.

Read more on WA Health website

Understanding lactose intolerance Dietitians Association of Australia

Understanding lactose intolerance Lactose intolerance is a set of symptoms caused by the bodysinability to digest lactose properly

Read more on Dietitians Association of Australia website

Lactose Intolerance | Nutrition Australia

What is Lactose? Lactose is the carbohydrate naturally found in all kinds of milk, including human milk. It can also be used as an ingredient in some foods.

Read more on Nutrition Australia website

Lactose intolerance and the breastfed baby | Australian Breastfeeding Association

Lactose intolerance is poorly understood in the Australian community. There are lots of myths and misunderstandings about it, especially when it comes to babies. Primary (or true) lactose intolerance is an extremely rare genetic condition and lactose intolerance is very different to intolerance or allergy to cows' milk protein. This article explains the differences between lactose intolerance and other conditions such as food allergies and lactose overload and dispels some of the myths about lactose intolerance in babies.

Read more on Australian Breastfeeding Association website

Cows Milk Protein Vs Lactose Intolerance - Reflux Infants Support Association Inc

Discusses the confusion between Lactose Intolerance and Cows Milk Protein Intolerance (CMPI) and looks at the differences between the two.

Read more on Reflux Infants Support Association website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Lactose intolerance in babies

Lactase is an enzyme, or chemical, which the body uses to digest the sugar in milk(lactose). If there is not enough lactase, undigested milk sugar gets into the large bowel and may cause gut pains and diarrhoea. This is called lactose intolerance.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Healthy eating for kids

Encourage healthy eating habits for kids by shopping healthy and planning meals to minimise temper tantrums at the dinner table and keep fussy eaters happy.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Bottle feeding - soy infant formulas

Where a baby is unable to have cow's milk because of cow's milk allergy or lactose intolerance soy infant formulas may be suggested instead.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Food intolerances | Women's Health Queensland Wide

It is not just artificial food additives that can cause food intolerances.

Read more on Women's Health Queensland Wide website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback