health care  
 
All about malabsorption syndrome causes of malabsorption symptoms of malabsorption diagnosis of malabsorption treatment for malabsorption celiac disease gluten causes of celiac disease symptoms of celiac disease celiac disease diagnosis treatments for celiac disease celiac disease and gluten-free diet lactose intolerance causes of lactose intolerance symptoms of lactose intolerance diagnosis of lactose intolerance treatment of lactose intolerance lactose-free diet Whipple's disease causes of Whipple's disease symptoms of Whipple's disease diagnosis of Whipple's disease treatment for Whipple's disease

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?

People with lactose intolerance usually cannot tolerate milk and other dairy products, all of which contain lactose. Some people recognize this early in life and consciously or unconsciously avoid dairy products. In principle, the symptoms of lactose intolerance are dose-dependent: the larger the amount of lactose administered, the more pronounced the symptoms are likely to be. However, the gastrointestinal symptoms caused by lactose maldigestion can vary between

individuals and other factors can also affect the degree of intolerance. Slow gastric emptying and long intestinal transit time have been shown to improve lactose absorption. Therefore, for sufferers, it helps to have lactose as a part of a meal rather than between meals. The metabolic activity of colonic flora varies greatly between individuals and is thought to play an important role in the appearance or absence of intolerance symptoms, which are independent of lactase activity in the intestine. Unabsorbed lactose increases the acidity of the colon contents, causing changes in the composition of the colonic bacteria and their metabolic activities. Over time, some adaptation of bacterial flora might lead to improved tolerance of lactose, despite maldigestion.

The common symptoms of lactose intolerance are gastrointestinal, primarily, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence (passing gas), and, less commonly, abdominal bloating, abdominal distention, and nausea. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be caused by other gastrointestinal conditions or diseases, so the presence of these symptoms are not very good at predicting whether a person has lactase deficiency or lactose intolerance. A child who is lactose intolerant has diarrhea and may not gain weight when milk is part of the diet. An adult may have abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, audible bowel sounds (borborygmi), and an urgent need to have a bowel movement between 30 minutes and 2 hours after eating a meal containing lactose. For some people, severe diarrhea may prevent proper absorption of nutrients because they are expelled from the body too quickly. However, the symptoms that result from lactose intolerance are usually mild. In contrast, symptoms that result from malabsorption in such conditions as celiac disease, tropical sprue, and infections of the intestine are more severe.

Symptoms occur because the unabsorbed lactose passes through the small intestine and into the colon. In the colon, one type of normal bacterium contains lactase and is able to split the lactose and use the resulting glucose and galactose for its own purposes. Unfortunately, when they split the lactose into glucose and galactose, these bacteria also release hydrogen gas. Some of the gas is absorbed from the colon and into the body and is then excreted by the lungs in the breath. Most of the hydrogen, however, is used up in the colon by other types of bacteria. A small proportion of the hydrogen gas is expelled and is responsible for the increased flatus (passing gas). Some people have an additional type of bacterium in their colons that changes the hydrogen gas into methane gas, and these people will excrete only methane or both hydrogen and methane gas in their breath and flatus.

More information on malabsorption (celiac disease, lactose intolerance, Whipple's disease)

What is malabsorption? - Malabsorption is the inability to absorb nutrients through the gut lining into the bloodstream. Malabsorption is the failure of the GI tract to absorb one or more substances from the diet.
What causes malabsorption? - The causes of malabsorption include cystic fibrosis, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, Whipple disease, acrodermatitis enteropathica, biliary atresia, pernicious anemia.
What are the symptoms of malabsorption? - The signs and symptoms of malabsorption may include failure to thrive, diarrhea, cramping, frequent bulky stools, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal distention.
How is malabsorption diagnosed? - The diagnosis of malabsorption syndrome and identification of the underlying cause can require extensive diagnostic testing.
What's the treatment for malabsorption? - Treatment of malabsorption is the treatment of the causing disease. Fluid and nutrient monitoring and replacement is essential for individual with malabsorption syndrome.
What is celiac disease? - Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten, a wheat protein. Individuals with this disease must avoid gluten-containing grains, which include all forms of wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
What is gluten? - Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of kneaded dough which allows it to be leavened.
What causes celiac disease? - The exact cause of celiac disease is not known. The principal cause of the disorder is an immunologic reaction to components of certain dietary glutens.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease? - The symptoms of celiac disease (CD) vary so widely among patients that there is no such thing as a typical celiac. Symptoms may or may not occur in the digestive system.
How is celiac disease diagnosed? - Celiac disease may be diagnosed by observing the symptoms after an infant begins eating cereals. The diagnosis is suspected when a person has the above-mentioned symptoms.
What are the treatments for celiac disease? - Many of the effects of celiac disease can be treated and minimized with a special diet. People with celiac disease learn to avoid the proteins in cereal.
Celiac disease and gluten-free diet - A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten containing cereals, wheat, oats, barley and rye.
What is lactose intolerance? - Lactose intolerance is a set of symptoms resulting from the body's inability to digest the milk sugar called lactose. Lactose is sugar occuring naturally in milk and is also called milk sugar.
What causes lactose intolerance? - Primary lactase deficiency is a genetically inherited. Secondary lactase deficiency is a transient state of lactase deficiency due to damage to the lining of the intestine.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance? - People with lactose intolerance usually cannot tolerate milk and other dairy products. The symptoms of lactose intolerance are dose-dependent.
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed? - Lactose intolerance is widely regarded as a medical condition. The most common test for lactose intolerance is the hydrogen breath test.
What's the treatment for lactose intolerance? - Lactose intolerance can be controlled and treated through diet by avoiding foods containing lactose, primarily dairy products.
Manage lactose intolerance with lactose-free diet - People who are very sensitive to lactose should be aware that lactose is widely used as an ingredient in many ready-made meals and other food products.
What is Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is a malabsorption disease. It interferes with the body's ability to absorb certain nutrients.
What causes Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is caused by the organism Tropheryma whippelii. The disease causes lesions on the wall of the small intestine and thickening of the tissue.
What are the symptoms of Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease causes weight loss, irregular breakdown of carbohydrates and fats, resistance to insulin, and malfunctions of the immune system.
How is Whipple's disease diagnosed? - Whipple's disease is diagnosed through a tissue sample (biopsy) of the small intestine, or of an enlarged lymph node.
What is the treatment for Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is treated with antibiotics to destroy the bacteria that cause the disease, treatment may also include fluid and electrolyte replacement. 
Digestive health Mainpage

Topics in digestive disorders

Signs and symptoms of digestive diseases
Anal and rectal disorders
Diverticular disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases
Malabsorption
Gastroenteritis
Pancreatitis
Peptic disorders (Stomach disease)
Emergencies of digestive system
Liver diseases
Irritable bowel syndrome
Diagnostic tests for digestive disorders
 

Featured articles

Constipation
Heartburn
Hemorrhoids
Diverticulosis
Crohn's disease
Ulcerative colitis
Peptic ulcer
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Hepatitis
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C
Liver transplant
Colon cancer
Stomach cancer
Colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005