Can You Reverse Lactose Intolerance?

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

can you reverse lactose intolerance

I, for one, am lactose intolerant. A serving of ice cream or milkshake would have me scurrying towards the toilet in half a second. As for finding a cure for this condition, I wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for an argument that I had with some friends about whether you could reverse lactose intolerance or not.

If one already knew about biology, it would seem like a silly question. But looking at some studies made me realize that I’d spent my whole life avoiding food that I actually enjoy, and thousands of other people are doing the same thing. Can you reverse lactose intolerance? Let’s discover the answer together in this post.

How Is Lactose Defined?

Lactose is a kind of sugar in milk and different dairy products. Lactose intolerance happens when your body doesn’t have adequate lactase to break down the lactose in your food.

How does lactase work?

Lactase is an enzyme that deconstructs lactose into two smaller sugars called glucose and galactose so that they can be easily digested by your body. When someone has lactase deficiency, their body doesn’t produce enough of this enzyme to break down all of the lactose in their diet.

As a result, they may experience symptoms such as stomach cramps and diarrhea after eating foods containing dairy products such as milk or cheese.

Most people produce enough lactase for their entire lives, but some people lose the ability to produce it as they get older or have health conditions that affect digestion.

Some signs that you may be intolerant include bloating, gas, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming dairy products containing lactose.

Research that Shows Lactose Intolerance Is Treatable

You may have heard that you can’t treat lactose intolerance, but there’s a lot of research that says otherwise. In fact, there are several studies that show that many people can increase their tolerance for dairy over time.

One such study found that people who were given nutritional supplements like calcium and vitamin D had an increase in their ability to digest lactose.

In another research, it was demonstrated that people with lactose intolerance can improve their tolerance of milk by taking probiotics and eating yogurt regularly. As for another study, even after just a short period of probiotic supplementation, participants’ symptoms improved dramatically.

The key is to find the right dosage of probiotics that works for your body. You can start with a half teaspoon or less per day and work your way up from there if needed.

Steps to Improve Lactose Intolerance

If you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, it can be hard to accept that there’s nothing you can do to reverse the condition. But don’t give up! If you’re feeling like your symptoms are getting in the way of life and love, here are some tips that may help you feel better.

nauseous man with hand on his mouth

Find Out the Real Cause

The first thing you should do if you’re wondering how to cure lactose intolerance is to find out the real cause of your symptoms. Whether this means seeing a doctor or doing some research online, it’s important that you know what’s causing your body to react negatively to lactose before you can start managing them.

Once you’ve pinpointed the cause of your intolerance, then you can begin finding ways to manage it. You may be able to switch to a different type of milk that doesn’t contain as much lactose (such as almond milk) or take enzymes with every meal containing dairy products.

Avoid Dairy Temporarily

Try cutting down on dairy products, or totally eliminate them from your diet for quite some time. You may not be able to eat as much milk as you want or drink milk by itself without getting symptoms anymore, but try adding milk products into recipes and cooking them so they’re less concentrated—that way, you’ll be able to eat a little bit more without causing your body harm.

Lactose Sources

Here are some lactose sources that you might need to remove from your next grocery list:


If you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, it means that your body doesn’t have the enzymes necessary to break down all of the lactose—the natural sugar in milk—that you consume. This can cause unpleasant symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Dairy products

Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of dairy without getting sick. But if you’re feeling sick after eating dairy, it’s best to avoid it completely until your symptoms clear up.

Other foods and beverages

While there are some very limited ways to reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance, the only way to eliminate them is to eliminate all dairy products from your diet. This means not just avoiding milk and yogurt, but also cheese and other products made with milk or dairy derivatives.

slices of cheese wheel

There are a few medications that you cannot take if you’re lactose intolerant. The most common is penicillin, which is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections. You should not take penicillin if you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, as it can cause side effects.

Other medications that may cause adverse reactions include:

  • Antipsychotic drugs: These medications are used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by reducing psychotic symptoms and calming the mind so that it doesn’t become overactive. If you currently take antipsychotic medication then speak with your doctor about whether or not it’s safe for you before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Look for Healthier Options

Eat foods high in calcium and protein. Since you’re going to be cutting back on dairy (and possibly other products), it’s important to make sure you’re still getting enough nutrients from other sources. Calcium helps keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis later in life, while protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Try eating yogurt with almonds or almond butter for an extra boost of protein.

Lactose-free Foods and Beverages

If you are lactose intolerant, you know how frustrating it can be to find out that some of your favorite foods and beverages contain milk products. But there’s good news: there are many lactose-free foods available! Some people choose to avoid all dairy products and opt for a vegan or vegetarian diet.

However, for those who want to continue eating dairy products but need to reduce the amount of lactose in their diet, there are several options available. You can substitute some ingredients in your favorite dishes, such as cashew purée for cream in your alfredo pasta, and nutritional yeast to replace cheese – it tastes great, too!

Lactose-free Dairy Products

Lactose-free yogurt is another option if you have trouble digesting milk products. Yogurt contains less lactose than regular milk because most of it has already been broken down during the fermentation process. You can also buy Greek yogurt, which has even less lactose than regular yogurt because of its thicker texture.

yogurt served in a ceramic bowl

Soy milk contains no lactose at all, so it’s another good option if you’re looking for alternatives to dairy milk products that aren’t sweetened with corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners (like Rice Dream does).

The only drawback is that soy milk doesn’t taste as good as cow’s milk does—but if you’re just looking for something healthy to drink without any added sugars or chemicals whatsoever then this might be right up your alley.

Promote Gut Healing

If all else fails, consider trying a probiotic supplement such as Optima, which is designed to help people with stomach issues, including lactose intolerance; this might help improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the colon caused by consuming too much lactose.

How long does gut lining take to heal if going through an ordeal such as lactose intolerance? The first thing to consider is what caused your lactose intolerance in the first place.

If you have an underlying health condition like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease, then you may have symptoms of lactose intolerance even after your gut lining has healed. But if you were diagnosed with lactose intolerance as a result of a temporary condition (like gastroenteritis), then it’s likely that your gut lining will recover within three months.

The second thing to consider is how long you’ve been undergoing treatment for lactose intolerance. If you’ve only had symptoms for one month, then it’s possible that they’ll resolve on their own within three months. However, if you’ve had symptoms for longer than six months, then they’re unlikely to go away without treatment—and this kind of treatment can take up to a few years.

Reintroduce Dairy Slowly

Just follow these tips to help you manage your intolerance efficiently. What happens if you ignore lactose intolerance? If you have lactose intolerance and continue to consume dairy products, you may end up with ongoing symptoms of indigestion. And that can lead to difficulty absorbing nutrients from your food—which means you could be missing out on important vitamins and minerals in your diet.

How Is Lactose Intolerance Inherited

Most cases of lactose intolerance are inherited through families. The gene that causes the inability to digest lactose is passed down from one generation to another in a family line, so if your parents or grandparents had trouble digesting lactose, you may have inherited this same problem.

woman with stomach pain lying on the sofa

If you have inherited a “lactase” deficiency, which means that your body doesn’t produce enough lactase enzyme for digestion or absorption of lactose, then you may need to avoid eating dairy products in order to avoid symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas pain after eating dairy products containing lactose.

Can Probiotics Aid in Lactose Intolerance?

Before opening any search engine and typing in the keywords “best probiotic for lactose intolerance”, we must first address the question: do probiotics help lactose intolerance issues?

One of the major problems with lactose intolerance is that it can lead to diarrhea, cramps, bloating, gas, and other uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms can make it difficult for those with lactose intolerance to eat foods that contain dairy products.

Probiotics help to keep your gut healthy by creating a better environment for good bacteria to grow and thrive in. This can help you digest food more easily, including dairy products like cheese and yogurt.

If you’re interested in trying probiotics to improve your digestion, there are several options available on the market today. Some probiotic supplements will contain specific strains of bacteria known for their ability to help with digestion issues such as lactose intolerance.

It’s important to note that not everyone will see results from taking probiotic supplements. It may take time for your body to adjust to these new bacteria before you start noticing improvements in digestion or other health issues related to poor gut health such as allergies or autoimmune disorders like arthritis or lupus.

High Tolerance: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

splash of milk

Can Lactose Intolerant People Consume Bread?

Yes, you can! You can consume bread as long as you don’t have a severe case of lactose intolerance. If you’re mildly lactose intolerant, you may be able to consume small amounts of dairy products with no ill effects. If you’re moderately or severely lactose intolerant, however, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Bread contains only trace amounts of lactose. The amount is so small that even if you have a severe case of lactose intolerance and feel ill after eating bread, the feeling will likely pass within an hour or two.
  • Bread is made from wheat flour which contains gluten—a protein found in grains that can cause digestive problems for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. If this is true for you, it may also be true for bread products like bagels and rolls because they contain gluten, too.

Can You Develop Resistance to Lactose Intolerance?

The answer is yes— while you can’t reverse lactose intolerance, you can increase your resistance gradually. What happens is that over time, your body gets used to the effects of the lactose in dairy products, and your symptoms become less severe and less frequent. You won’t be able to consume large amounts of dairy without experiencing symptoms again, however.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your tolerance of lactose, there are some things that can help. Drink plenty of water before eating dairy products or taking supplements that contain lactose so your body can process them more easily and reduce gas and bloating.

Also, try taking digestive enzymes with dairy products and supplements containing lactose to help them digest better than they would on their own.


Consequently, the best way to avoid lactose intolerance symptoms is to avoid milk and milk products altogether. Alternatively, if you do enjoy milk and milk products, try cutting back on your intake gradually and see how you feel after a week or two. That’s the best way of determining what works for your body.

Are you wondering how to live a fuller, healthier, and longer life? Try the SuperHumn 30-Day Jumpstart Program. This program provides you with practical actions you can do to improve your current state of health, allowing you to age better and live longer.

If you adhere to this plan, I’ll show you how to improve your sleep, intestinal health, energy levels, and your mobility, while bringing balance to your nervous system. Sign up today!

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