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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Monday, June 08, 2009

Can LI Hurt You?

Lactose Intolerance (LI) isn't a disease, yet it can cause symptoms that vary from annoying to sheer misery. It's not surprising that every once in a while I get questions asking whether LI can cause actual damage.

I replied:

It depends (you knew that was coming, right?). If your symptoms are minor, then really nothing of concern is occurring. If you have serious diarrhea, you can wind up with several things that are bad to have, although certainly not life threatening. You may become dehydrated; may lose important nutrients; may develop anal fissures or hemorrhoids from the continue strain on the tissues. If you start bleeding while on the toilet, you need to see a doctor. It's most likely hemorrhoids, but you need to make sure.

The same advice holds for those who wonder whether going off lactase pills is a bad thing. The symptoms may become a problem if you don't take lactase, but whether you take it or not has no effect on your intestines or any other part of your system.

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