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"Can I become lactose intolerant late in life?"


I?ve never had trouble with dairy products, but lately my stomach hurts when I drink milk or eat cheese. I am in my late forties. Could I become lactose intolerant at my age?


Have you noticed any changes to your diet other than the dairy products recently? Sometimes you may develop an allergy to another food product, and unknowingly think that it is from lactose. Have you had problems with diarrhea, constipation, or loss of appetite? These are clues that you may have lactose intolerance. Have you noticed that your stomach hurts with any other types of food or just with dairy products? These are important questions to consider and the answers to these questions, along with your medical history, presenting symptoms and clinical exam will help your primary care doctor decide upon the appropriate medical work up and possible treatment options.

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In general, it has been shown that late onset lactose intolerance is a possibility, although it is unclear what the cause of this late onset could be. In general, there are a variety of medical options available to make you more comfortable and help take dairy products without feeling these problems, and there are also dairy substitutes. Please talk to your primary care doctor for further information, and to rule out more serious concerns.

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