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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

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.

Bookmark and Share


Unknown 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!