lactose intolerance, lactase deficiency, milk intolerance(noun)
congenital disorder consisting of an inability to digest milk and milk products; absence or deficiency of lactase results in an inability to hydrolyze lactose
A physiological condition in which lactose cannot be hydrolyzed in the intestine, leading to uncomfortable gaseousness, cramps, or diarrhea after eating a lactose-containing food such as milk or ice cream. The symptoms may be prevented by ingesting a preparation of beta-galactosidase before or together with dairy products.
Inability to fully metabolize lactose.
Lactose intolerance, also called lactase deficiency and hypolactasia, is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and to a lesser extent milk-derived dairy products. It is not a disorder as such, but a genetically-determined characteristic. Lactose intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of lactase, an enzyme that catalyzes hydrolysis of lactose into glucose and galactose, in their digestive system. In most cases this causes symptoms which may include abdominal bloating and cramps, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, borborygmi, or vomiting after consuming significant amounts of lactose. Some studies have produced evidence that milk consumption by lactose intolerant individuals may be a significant cause of inflammatory bowel disease. Most mammals normally cease to produce lactase, becoming lactose intolerant, after weaning, but some human populations have developed lactase persistence, in which lactase production continues into adulthood. It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood. The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from 5% in northern Europe through 71% for Sicily to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries. This distribution is now thought to have been caused by recent natural selection favoring lactase-persistent individuals in cultures in which dairy products are available as a food source. While it was first thought that this would mean that populations in Europe, India, and Africa had high frequencies of lactase persistence because of a particular mutation, it was later shown that lactase persistence is caused by several independently occurring mutations.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The condition resulting from the absence or deficiency of LACTASE in the MUCOSA cells of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, and the inability to break down LACTOSE in milk for ABSORPTION. Bacterial fermentation of the unabsorbed lactose leads to symptoms that range from a mild indigestion (DYSPEPSIA) to severe DIARRHEA. Lactose intolerance may be an inborn error or acquired.
The numerical value of lactose intolerance in Chaldean Numerology is: 4
The numerical value of lactose intolerance in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2
Images & Illustrations of lactose intolerance
Translations for lactose intolerance
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for lactose intolerance »
Find a translation for the lactose intolerance definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these lactose intolerance definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"lactose intolerance." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 30 Apr. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/lactose intolerance>.