Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lactase Can Help. Tell Your Doctor

It never ceases to amaze me how much misinformation doctors still have about lactose intolerance.

You say you want an example? Here's one.

A reader wrote this letter to the Dr. Peter H. Gott medical advice column. Except this time, the reader is the one giving the advice.

After increasingly painful bouts of intestinal cramps and diarrhea, I realized the common denominator was milk.

I discussed the issue with my general practitioner, who confirmed the diagnosis of lactose intolerance. She advised me to read labels.

When I asked what she thought of lactase enzyme tablets, she said her patients hadn't had any luck with them. She dismissed the idea, so I asked whether they were dangerous, and she said no. I told her I was going to try them. It's been more than a month since I started them, and I haven't had a single incident.

I have been reading labels and am shocked at how many products contain milk, including vitamins and antibiotics that I couldn't tolerate previously.

My doctor didn't consider the possibility of lactose intolerance as the source of my antibiotic problems, so she just kept switching medications. I found out about the presence of lactose in my medications with one phone call to my pharmacist.

Pardon me while I boggle. Lactase tablets not helping patients? Lactase might be the single most helpful aid ever put forth as a solution to the symptoms of any problem. Out of the hundreds of people who have written me over the years about lactase, not more than a handful have ever complained that it did not help. And most of them just needed to change the brand they were taking.

I hesitate to call lactase a wonder drug, because technically it is not a drug or medication at all. It merely supplies the enzyme that those of us with lactose intolerance are missing. But since I had years of being lactose intolerant before lactase pills came on the market, I can safely say that lactase is the closest equivalent to a wonder drug ever marketed. It helps the highest percentage of people to the highest percentage of symptom relief.

Doctor, heal thyself.

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