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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Lactose Intolerance

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Lactose intolerance
Question: Is it possible to suddenly develop an intolerance to lactose?

Answer: Most people do. That is, most children do not have lactose deficiency until the age of three or so (there are some exceptions). The deficiency develops as one ages. The degree of the deficiency will predict when symptoms will be seen - most in their early childhood - some not until their adult years. Lactose deficiency can also occur in sprue, after bacterial infections of the bowel, and with inflammatory diseases of the bowel like ulcerative colitis or crohn's disease.
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