Symptoms of lactose intolerance include: a bloated stomach, flatulence (wind) and diarrhoea
The body digests lactose by using an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose into two simpler sugars which can then be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
In lactose intolerance, the body does not produce enough of the lactase enzyme so lactose stays in the digestive system, where it is fermented by bacteria (in the same way that yeast is fermented to produce beer). It’s this fermentation process that causes the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.
Sometimes if people have been ill with food poisoning or other conditions the lactase enzyme is reduced. They may then have a period of intolerance.
If you suspect that you may be lactose intolerant, it is important to make an appointment to get a diagnosis confirmed (or ruled out) by a doctor.