Lactose: Food tolerance testing based on DNA

Lactose: food tolerance testing based on DNA


How many people do you know can’t drink milk or anything with dairy in it because it “doesn’t agree with them”? While the effects of lactose may vary from person to person, they can all agree that lactose intolerance can be uncomfortable, if not downright painful. Nowadays, nutritional genetic testing lets you know if your DNA is more likely to make you lactose intolerant.

What is Lactose Tolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to fully digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk byproducts. This is due to the lack of an enzyme called lactase in the small intestine. As a result of this malabsorption, consuming dairy may cause bloating, gassiness, and diarrhea.


Some people who are lactose intolerant can still consume dairy products in small amounts while others need to completely eliminate lactose from their diet. It all depends on how badly the symptoms manifest for an individual and what their healthcare provider says about it.

Some tests can be done to determine if you are lactose intolerant. The hydrogen breath test and the lactose intolerance test are two of the most common methods used by healthcare professionals to determine if an individual has this condition. 


The hydrogen breath test is done by making an individual drink a liquid with plenty of lactose and then measuring the hydrogen levels in their breath afterward. Too much hydrogen means you are lactose intolerant. 


The lactose intolerance test makes you drink a liquid with high levels of lactose and then your blood will be drawn two hours later to see if glucose levels rose. If glucose remains the same, this means your body is not digesting the lactose in the liquid and you are intolerant.

Top 7 FAQs About Lactose Intolerance

Today, we’re answering your most frequently asked questions about lactose intolerance. 

Does genetics affect lactose intolerance?

Yes, lactose intolerance can be influenced by your DNA. For people who consume dairy with genetic lactose sensitivity, there may be excess gas, pain, and other digestive problems. One of the genes we analyze for your lactose tolerance is your MCM6 gene. Discover your genetic likelihood of lactose intolerance today based on DNA with our LifeDNA Nutrition Report.


Who is most likely to have lactose intolerance?


While children and younger adults are less likely to be lactose intolerant, they can still develop the condition at a later age. Some health experts even view lactose intolerance as a natural condition of the human body rather than a serious condition that needs to be treated. Apart from age, ethnic background may also be a factor for individuals with lactose intolerance. 

How long does lactose intolerance last?

Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually manifest anytime between 30 minutes to 2 hours after an individual has consumed dairy. They can last for up to 48 hours depending on how much dairy was consumed.

Does lactose intolerance cause constipation?

Apart from the typical symptoms of bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, a good number of cases of lactose intolerance also has constipation as a symptom. This particular symptom can also be as uncomfortable and painful as diarrhea.

What happens if you ignore lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is usually harmless if the symptoms that manifest are only mild to moderate. Some people have symptoms that are mild enough to be ignored, thus, they continue to consume dairy in moderate amounts. Lactose symptoms can vary in severity but if you suspect that you have severe digestive problems, contact your primary care physician immediately.

Can you reverse lactose intolerance?

If lactose intolerance is caused by an underlying condition, getting treatment for the pre-existing disease might help alleviate the symptoms of lactose intolerance, if not completely restore the body’s ability to digest the enzyme. However, if lactose intolerance is caused by the lack of lactase, there is not much an individual can do except manage their symptoms and avoid dairy.

Does lactose intolerance get worse with age?

It is not uncommon for people to suddenly develop lactose intolerance. This condition can either be primary and congenital or secondary and developmental. The former is hereditary and passed down via genetics while the latter is caused by decreased lactase in the body. Secondary lactose intolerance can occur at any age but is more likely to occur at a later age.

Can stress cause lactose intolerance?

Researchers have long found a link between gastric and digestive problems with mental and psychological issues. According to these experts, stomach problems may have little to do with what an individual has consumed and more with anxiety, stress, depression, and other psychological conditions. 


Discover your body’s lactose tolerance levels and get genetic testing for personalized nutrition today with LifeDNA’s most updated and detailed nutrition reports.

LifeDNA’s Genetic Testing for Food Intolerance

LifeDNA offers a non-invasive test for food tolerance testing. This genetic testing is done via a saliva sample and analyzed by the best scientific labs. 

We also offer a DNA upload option to make it easier for people who have already taken a test to optimize their wellness with LifeDNA. 

Using the latest research for the most accurate results, LifeDNA’s  Nutrition Report will tell you about your body’s response to certain foods based on DNA. This includes your potential food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances.

How to Manage Lactose Intolerance

A lactose-free diet is not as restrictive as it sounds. Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, soy products, whole grains, nuts, and healthy fats can still be fully enjoyed by lactose-intolerant individuals. Just a precaution, be sure to consult with your doctor first before making any major changes in your diet.


Additionally, be extra careful when consuming dairy and dairy-based products. Try the elimination diet and slowly reintroduce dairy products in small amounts into your diet and see how much is too much and what moderate means. You can also find dairy alternatives such as plant-based products and byproducts. 


Thinking about doing genetic analysis to discover what foods work best for you and your unique body? Try LifeDNA today.

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.