Factors that can make you or your child more prone to lactose intolerance include:
March 30, 2016
- Increasing age. Lactose intolerance usually appears in adulthood. The condition is uncommon in babies and young children.
- Ethnicity. Lactose intolerance is most common in people of African, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian descent.
- Premature birth. Infants born prematurely may have reduced levels of lactase because the small intestine doesn't develop lactase-producing cells until 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.
- Feldman M, et al. Maldigestion and malabsorption. In: Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 26, 2015.
- Leavitt M, et al. Clinical implications of lactose malabsorption versus lactose intolerance. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2013;47:471.
- Montgomery RK, et al. Lactose intolerance. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Lactose intolerance. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/. Accessed March 26, 2015.
- Heaney, RP. Dairy intake, dietary adequacy, and lactose intolerance. Advances in Nutrition. 2013;4:151.