Do You Need A Lactose Intolerance Test?
January 5, 2013 | By Thomas Erhman

Bloating, gas, fatigue and nausea are all signs that your body might not be equipped with the right enzymes to break down sugars found in dairy products.

If you find you're experiencing regular discomfort in your stomach from the foods you eat, it's likely you would benefit from a lactose intolerance test.

There are two main ways that medical professionals can determine whether or not your symptoms are the result of lactose intolerance:

  • The lactose intolerant breath test, known as the hydrogen breath test.
  • The lactose tolerance blood test.

Symptoms that Indicate Your Need for a Lactose Intolerance Test

If you're unsure whether or not you need a lactose intolerance test, spend a few weeks watching for the following symptoms to appear thirty minutes to an hour after eating a meal containing dairy

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating

Who Can Perform A Lactose Intolerance Test?

You can easily track your food and body's reaction, to figure out if you're lactose intolerance.

You can also choose to visit a trained allergist or other medical professional to perform a lactose intolerance test. You'll probably need to make an appointment, although the lactose intolerance breath test and lactose tolerance blood test only take a few minutes.

Talk with your friends or family to see if they can recommend a doctor to perform the lactose intolerance test, or ask your general practitioner for a recommendation.

What Can You Expect During Your Lactose Intolerance Test?

Some people are sick of their lactose intolerance symptoms, but are nervous about getting a lactose intolerance test. Both the lactose intolerance breath test and lactose tolerance blood test are quick and relatively painless. In most cases, the lactose intolerance breath test is the preferred way to determine whether or not your body has a problem digesting dairy.

During the lactose intolerance hydrogen breath test, the doctor or allergist will ask you to breathe into a balloon so your hydrogen levels can be measured. Then, the doctor or allergist will ask you to consume a beverage that contains lactose.

After a few minutes, you will be asked to breathe into the balloon a couple more times to determine if the hydrogen levels change. Normal breath has very little hydrogen in it, but if your body's having trouble breaking down lactose, the breath test will indicate increased levels of hydrogen.

What To Do If The Results Are Positive?

If your lactose intolerance hydrogen breath test results indicate that your body has trouble breaking down the sugars in milk products, you should consider eliminating dairy from your diet. If you don't think you're capable of doing so, probiotics can help your body break down foods with lactose sugar, dairy, into more easily digestible elements.*

The content material of this article or webpage is for educational and consumer information purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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