Start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner if you have signs or symptoms that suggest you may have lactose intolerance. Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to be prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready, and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For lactose intolerance, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Are my symptoms caused by lactose intolerance?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is lactose intolerance a lifelong condition, or could it go away?
- What are my treatment options?
- Must I stop eating all dairy products?
- How can I be certain that I'm getting enough calcium in my diet?
- Should I see a dietitian?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- Do I need to come in for periodic follow-up visits? If so, how often?
What you can do in the meantime
If you think you may have lactose intolerance, try cutting dairy products from your diet for a few days to see if your symptoms ease. Let your doctor know if your symptoms got better on the days you didn't have dairy products.
April 04, 2012
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- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Feb. 6, 2012.
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