The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Temporary Lactose Intolerance

Few people realize that writers seldom get to choose their own titles for their work. That's especially true for newspaper and magazine writers. They never have any idea how their articles will wind up formatted on the printed page, so editors, not writers, have to create headlines that fit the appropriate space.

Even though space is not a problem on the Internet, this old habit is too ingrained to be broken. So when you see a particularly stupid or obvious headline, don't blame the poor writer. He or she is probably seeing it for the first time when you do.

I say this because of one of the stupidest headlines I've ever seen, a headline irritatingly idiotic because it may prevent you from reading what is really a good article on a subject of importance and interest.

Lactose intolerance symptoms not always present from birth.

Well, duh. In fact, lactose intolerance are virtually never, ever, ever seen at birth. As I recently explained, what's known as Congenital LI is exceptionally rare. Although doctors are discovering a few more cases of it, it probably happens in less than one in 100,000,000 births. Most doctors will never see a case in their lifetimes.

What doctors do see, and what parents do need to watch out for, is what is known as Secondary or Temporary LI. Temporary is the better name for it, because it's usually caused by a simple and normal gastrointestinal problem that knocks out the lactase-making ability of the intestines. This is easy to do in children, but fortunately easy to recover from. Once the intestines heal, which takes a few weeks, the child can go back to drinking milk.

Dr. Helen Minciotti, the columnist stuck with that appalling headline, explains all this fairly well in her article. Go read it. Then explain it to the editor.

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SophieDusting said...


I've recently been diagnosed as lactose intolerant. I can't tolerate even a small amount in goats milk. Suprisingly, I didn't realise how common it is, my housemate is also lactose intolerant and I never knew. Unfortunately I am also wheat, gluten, yeast, sugar, and alcohol intolerant to name but a few (see: Your blog is really interesting, I wish you all the best and continue with your research.

Anonymous said...

Hi. You should check out

Its a little blog about a lactose intolerant icecream new to the market.

Hope you like it!