How Is Lactose Intolerance Treated?

There are no medications or other treatments that increase the amount of lactase enzyme in the intestine. However, gastrointestinal symptoms can be prevented through a special diet. Most people with lactose intolerance do not have to avoid lactose completely, but people differ in the amounts and types of milk-containing foods they can handle. For example, one person may have symptoms after drinking a few sips of milk, while others can drink one glass but not two.

Certain foods are better tolerated than others: yogurt is tolerated better than cheese, and cheese better than whole milk. For those people with lactose intolerance who have trouble limiting their intake of dairy-containing foods, the lactase enzyme can be taken as a pill or liquid supplement, which makes lactose more digestible. Lactose-reduced milk and other products are also available at most supermarkets.