General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What is the difference between being lactose intolerant and being allergic to dairy?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (15837points) 4 days ago

My pharmacist gave me some lactaid to try. I had some cheesecake with it and I didn’t hurl.

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7 Answers

Cupcake's avatar

Check out this link.

Allergies involve the immune system while food intolerances involve the GI system. They can have overlapping symptoms, though. Lactaid contains an enzyme to help break down lactose, the sugar found in abundance in cow’s milk. This can help with gassy, uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance. Lactaid would not help milk allergy at all.

Do you usually hurl when you eat cheesecake? That was a bold move… you might want to start with a bit of butter or a small glass of milk/bowl of cereal when first trying out lactaid. You will have to figure out how much lactaid you need based on how much dairy you are consuming.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Cupcake No. I don’t usually hurl after cheesecake. Egg Nog today I hurled and one month ago I hurled when I had a glass of milk. I just stocked up on tex mex nacho cheese for nachos. Edited From your link I am not allergic to dairy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

An allergy is an autoimmune response. Lactose intolerance is simply the body’s inability to digest lactose.

Lactose is a particular sugar found in the milk of all mammals. In order for your digestive system to break it down you need an enzyme called lactase. Generally speaking you produce lactase in ample quantities when you’re young. Over time the body’s lactase production slows. However many people still produce enough to digest most milk/dairy products. For some of us, however, the use of a lactase supplement, like Lactaid, is needed. Hard cheeses are an exception, as the process of making cheese removes most lactose.

An allergy, depending on severity, can kill you. Lactose intolerance won’t really harm you. It’ll just make you really uncomfortable for a few hours as the undigested lactose passes through your system.

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BrentFoust's avatar

Lactose intolerant means not having adequate amount of the enzyme lactase, which is required to break down lactose present in dairy products. Being allergic to dairy products means that you can develop allergy symptoms due to any of the substances present in diary, not necessarily lactose.

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