Factors that can make you or your child more prone to lactose intolerance include:

  • Increasing age. Lactose intolerance becomes more common as you age — the condition is uncommon in babies and young children.
  • Ethnicity. Lactose intolerance is most common in black, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian people.
  • Premature birth. Infants born prematurely may have reduced levels of lactase because this enzyme increases in the fetus late in the third trimester.
  • Diseases affecting the small intestine. Small intestine problems that can cause lactose intolerance include bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.
  • Certain cancer treatments. If you have received radiation therapy for cancer in your abdomen or have intestinal complications from chemotherapy, you have an increased risk of lactose intolerance.
Apr. 04, 2012

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