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Lactose Tolerance Test

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The Lactose Tolerance Test is designed to determine if your body is capable of breaking down the sugars found exclusively in milk and lactose-laden milk products. Many people are born with intolerance to lactose and others develop it over time.

You will be asked to ingest a dose of lactose at the patient service center prior to the test being administered. Making an appointment at the patient service center is recommended due to the need to additional time required. If you're concerned you have a lactose intolerance or special sensitivity to lactose, there are several signs and symptoms to watch for.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

Symptoms of lactose intolerance are generally mild and are not identical to a milk allergy. With lactose intolerance, you can still have dairy products in moderation though they may cause discomfort, while a milk allergy would require you to avoid milk and milk products altogether. Lactose intolerance symptoms generally occur between 30-minutes and two hours after the consumption of milk-based products and include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gas
  • Bloated midsection
  • Diarrhea or very soft stools
  • Stools that may appear foamy
You might also experience these symptoms after most, if not all, instances of eating or drinking dairy products. Symptoms can mimic other disorders such as the flu, a stomach virus, and food poisoning.  If you suspect lactose tolerance, consider a Lactose Intolerance Test through Health Testing Centers.

In this blood test, you drink a formulated lactose-based liquid made to mimic milk. Two hours after ingesting the liquid, a glucose test is used to determine if the body is breaking down the sugars in the lactose. If the body is not breaking down the sugars properly, blood sugars will not show a change in the glucose levels. You will need to be checked before the ingestion and after, in order for the test results to show an accurate comparison of how your body processes sugar. This test can be skewed significantly by diabetes medications so discuss your diet and insulin plans with your healthcare provider prior to taking this blood test.

In rare cases, some people with lactose intolerances have developed a large amount of fermented lactose in their digestive tracts and the obstruction may need to be cleared. If you're having intestinal pain, severe bloating, and your body is unable to produce a typical amount of solid waste, you may need an upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy in order to find and clear the blockage.

Related Laboratory Tests

If you are concerned about food allergies you may consider a Basic Food Allergy Test or Extended Food Allergy Test. Discuss the different allergy tests available at Health Testing Centers with our trained medical professionals.