Personal Health

Milk sugar intolerance symptoms and therapy

Living with lactose intolerance

The milk sugar intolerance (lactose intolerance) is a special Form of food intolerance, when Affected to the consumption of milk and milk products with a variety of symptoms and diseases respond. Based on an enzyme deficiency, congenital or be acquired is located. More than one in seven of the population in Germany is affected by a lactose intolerance.

Table of contents

Lactose intolerance – a brief Overview

Milk is part of a healthy diet because it contains many important minerals and vitamins. Nevertheless, milk can be recommended unreservedly for all the people, because in many people the consumption of milk and dairy products leads to severe digestive problems and intestinal complaints. According to the Institute for quality and efficiency in the health sector to 15 percent or twelve million people in Germany suffer from lactose intolerance. Here is a brief Overview of the symptoms:

  • Definition: The milk sugar from the food is in the intestine due to the lack of or lack of enzyme lactase is no longer sufficiently digested. It digestive disorders and discomfort in the stomach, often result-intestinal tract.
  • Synonyms: Lactose Intolerance, Carbohydrate Malabsorption, Lactose Intolerance, Lactose Malabsorption, Lactose Deficiency Syndrome, Alaktasie.
  • Symptoms: right after the milk-consumption, or within 24 hours after eating leads to Nausea and vomiting, indigestion, stomach problems, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, bloating, sleep disorders and/or skin rashes.
  • Diagnosis: The Hydrogen breath test provides information on the enzyme defect in the respiratory air, the lactose tolerance test, the blood sugar level before and after ingestion of a milk sugar solution is measured.
  • Therapy: Extensive or complete renunciation of foods that contain lactose include, follow a diet plan, keeping a Food diary, occasionally lactase supplements to support.

Causes – How is it an intolerance?

The dairy products included milk sugar (Latin lactose) is a carbohydrate consisting of dextrose (Glucose) and mucus sugar (galactose). This split and to digest, we need lactase. Lactase, a specific enzyme, which is formed in the small intestine villi. It splits the lactose into the components Glucose and galactose which are then absorbed through the intestinal mucosa. The digestive enzyme lactase is not or insufficiently available, the milk sugar molecules in the Whole in the large intestine, where it then comes through the large intestine bacteria fermentation processes. These fermentation processes lead to various ailments. To distinguish lactose intolerance from milk sugar Allergy is (see food Allergy), the immune responses as a result of the contact occurrence with the Allergen.

Forms of milk sugar intolerance

It is the primary is distinguished from the secondary Form. The lack of lactase can be congenital (primary) or develop over time (secondary). Rarely, infants with the congenital Form of the complaints, affected. In most cases, the primary defect appears only in adulthood, when the lactase-decreases production, and finally come to a Standstill.

The secondary Form of lactose intolerance

The secondary Form usually presents only in adulthood. Here, the lactase are produce attacked the small intestine villi of the intestinal mucosa or destroyed. This is due to chronic-inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease (IBD) or infectious inflammation of the intestine (Enteritis). But also other food unvertra possible as a celiac disease (Allergy to Gluten) can have deficiencies in the lactase enzyme.

In addition, the milk sugar intolerance can also function disorders, namely digestive disorders (functional dyspepsia), failed colonization of the intestinal mucosa (intestinal dysbiosis), the Leaky-gut syndrome, or fungal infestation (intestinal mycosis). These can be used individually or side by side occurrence and are often seen after acute infections, taking medication (especially antibiotics), and in the case of persistent poor nutrition.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

Typical complaints that can directly or up to some hours after eating occur from dairy products, abdominal pain, Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence (bloating). In addition, fatigue and tiredness, headaches, sleep disturbances, dizziness, constipation, painful bowel colic, and skin problems are sometimes called.

The intensity of the symptoms depends on


With the help of various Tests, the milk sugar intolerance, for example, the H2-breath test (particularly suitable for small children) in the breathing air, the hydrogen content from the fermentation processes in the colon is determined. The lactose tolerance test a lactose solution to drink and then the glucose content in the blood is checked. Relatively new the genetic test to identify a hereditary predisposition. In addition, it is advisable to keep a food diary and the good or bad contracts transgenic food, in order to shape a own diet plan.

Lactose Intolerance Treatment

A primary lactase deficiency is not, of course, reversed. To avoid symptoms, it is advisable to steer clear of milk sugar, or to prefer food with a low milk sugar content. This means, at least in the initial phase, a great deal of attention when shopping, as the milk sugar in a myriad of foods, drugs and cosmetics, baking, ready meals, toothpastes, or (homeopathic) tablets. Support and lactase preparations are used, the lactose-splitting (for example, in the Restaurant or on travel). The therapy of the secondary Form depends on the underlying disorder or disease.

Lactose Intolerance Diet

The diet plays in the treatment of lactose intolerance are of Central importance. In particular, milk and milk products should largely be dispensed with. According to the Federal Ministry of food and agriculture, for example, a lot of milk sugar (grams lactose per 100 grams):

  • Cow’s milk (4.8 to 5 grams),
  • Butter (0.6 to 0.7 grams),
  • Ice cream, ice cream (from 5.1 to 6.9 grams),
  • Condensed milk (9.3 to 12.5 grams),
  • Quark (depending on the fat content of 2.0 to 4.1 grams),
  • Butter milk (3.5 to 4.0 grams),
  • Cream cheese (depending on fat content of 2.0 to 4.0 grams),
  • Yogurt (depending on fat content of 3.5 to 6.0 grams),
  • Cream (2.8 to 3.6 grams),
  • Creme fraiche (2.0 to 4.5 grams).

Beware of hidden lactose

In the case of milk products, it is obvious that they contain milk sugar. In addition, lactose does not appear, but also in a variety of products where it is suspected it, since milk is used, sugar either as a binder or as a carrier in flavors, flavor enhancers and sweeteners. For this reason, you will find lactose in, for example, Pizza, sausage, broth, baked goods, canned goods, bread, crisp bread, buns, cakes, biscuits, cereal, croquettes, Desserts, sweets, instant soups, cream sauces, salad dressings, spice blends, bread spreads, Mayonnaise, Ketchup, mustard, Margarine, Pesto, coffee, mixtures, fish, and vegetables.

It also is used in some low-fat products milk sugar, in order to generate more volume and weight of the food. Even in medicines and toothpaste can hide lactose. In most cases, the proportion of the above-mentioned articles is not as high as in the case of dairy products. Nevertheless, people with milk sugar intolerance should be in these foods carefully.

The three phases of the Diet

Having a lactose intolerance has been identified, it must be a change in Diet, to achieve a relief of symptoms. This is normally implemented in three phases, the waiting phase, the test phase, and the duration of the diet. In the first Waiting period should be waived over a period of at least two weeks consistently on lactose sources. Patients who suffer from constant intestinal problems, should not also temporarily on a flatulent, or hard-to-digest foods such as cabbage, onions, and coarse-grained wholemeal bread. The meals should be taken in small portions throughout the day, thoroughly chewed, and with plenty of water to relieve the gastro-intestinal tract.

Proof of the pudding is in the eating

The waiting time should be long carried out until the complaints have clearly improved. The connection can be added in small portions again food, the small or medium-sized lactose show levels. In this way, each can determine the amount and type of lactose-containing food that is well tolerated. The results should be recorded in a personal food diary. For this Phase should be a minimum of six to eight weeks time. Through these extensive test phase, the Affected parties can identify a range of foods that they tolerate well and which are suitable in connection to the test phase to a permanent diet.

Food without or with little lactose

The following foods contain no milk sugar and can be consumed, in General, safe for lactose intolerance:

  • Potatoes,
  • Rice,
  • Cereal products such as Corn, oats, wheat, spelt and rye,
  • Fruit and vegetables,
  • Nuts, legumes and seeds,
  • vegetable milk from oats, rice, almonds, soy or coconut
  • Meat, fish and eggs,
  • Vegetable oils.

Lactose-reduced foods and special products

In addition to the lactose-free products, there are a number of foods contain only a small proportion of milk sugar and of the many Concerned well-tolerated. For this purpose, certain Hard include, for example, and cut cheese varieties, has reduced the lactose during the maturation process. Some of the varieties include mountain cheese, Emmentaler, Gouda, Edamer and Tilsiter less than 0.1 grams of lactose per 100 grams of cheese. There are also certain natural yoghurt, containing live lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The special feature of these bacteria is that they contain the lactase enzyme itself, and this in the intestine, whereby such yoghurts are tolerated by many people with lactose intolerance. In the supermarket, health food store or in the pharmacy, you can also find specially marked lactose-free milk products.

Lactase supplements

Furthermore, there is the enzyme lactase as a to buy drops, powder, tablet or capsule. These preparations can then be made with lactose-containing food to facilitate the digestion. But they should not be used too often, but rather in the exception case, for example, in the case of a restaurant visit, an invitation, on holiday or abroad.

How is milk sugar marked in the list of ingredients?

In the case of packaged goods, milk, sugar needs to be excellent. Terms, such as Lactose, lactose, milk powder, full cream milk powder, skimmed milk powder, dry milk product, whey, whey products, whey powder, whey powder, cream or cream on the ingredients list, the article of milk sugar. Here, people should leave with milk sugar intolerance side of caution. You can buy sausage, cheese or baked goods at the counter, you should on the ingredients. Substances from the list of ingredients such as lactic acid (E270), lactic acid salts (E325 to E327), milk proteins and mucus sugar (Galactose) to be well tolerated by many sufferers. (vb)

Beware of calcium deficiency

With the intolerance for milk and milk is an important source of Calcium is products. Calcium is an important mineral for strong bones and a healthy brain. For children of ten years and for adults, the German society for nutrition recommends a daily Calcium intake of 1000 to 1200 milligrams. In order to avoid a calcium deficiency, should be Concerned, rely on lactose-free milk products, lactose-reduced cheeses and calcium-rich vegetables such as Broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, Kale or fennel. In addition, can help with Calcium-fortified fruit juices and mineral water to meet the daily needs. (jvs; vb; aktualiesert on 17. December 2018)


  • Internet appearance of the Federal Association for health information and consumer protection (BGV), visited on 11. December 2018
  • Consumer portal VIS the Bavarian state Ministry for environment and consumer protection
  • German nutrition society (DGE): “eat and Drink for lactose intolerance”
  • The Federal food key (BLS) of the Federal Ministry for food and agriculture
  •; Portal of the Institute for
    Quality and efficiency in health care (IQWiG)