Lactose intolerance is a dietary problem that occurs from a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is normally produced by cells located in the small intestine. When the production of this enzyme is low, the common sugar known as lactose cannot be broken down within the intestine, thus resulting in multiple unpleasant symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, and/or nauseousness.
Lactose intolerance is an intermittent yet recurring global issue that affects people from all walks of life. It can develop randomly or be acquired through genetic means by way of cell adaptation, typically as we grow older and our bodies decrease lactase enzyme production. Lactose intolerance can also commonly occur in patients pre-diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and/or inflammatory bowel disease.