Lactose Intolerant Or Allergic To Dairy? Let’s Find Out The Difference

Here is everything you need to know about lactose intolerance and Dairy Allergies along with the difference between the two.

Charu Sharma
Written by: Charu SharmaUpdated at: Aug 16, 2021 13:29 IST
Lactose Intolerant Or Allergic To Dairy? Let’s Find Out The Difference

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You might have heard this from someone close to you that they can not have milk, paneer, butter, ice-cream and even that super tempting and deliciously cheesy pizza. Well a person saying this is missing a lot many good things in life (specially that pizza) but the answer to this is very simple, that either that person is lactose intolerant or is allergic to dairy. Although both these terms sound pretty similar but are way too different. Here we are going to decode both of these terms and simply understand the difference between the two with Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, MBBS, Food, Lifestyle, Wellness, as told by him on his Instagram account. 


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What is Lactose?

Before going any further and understanding the difference between both the conditions let us first find out what the word lactose actually stands for. In simple words lactose can be described as a type of sugar that is found in milk and milk products, that means any thing which is made out of milk, no matter in which form it exists, it will consist of some amount of lactose in it.

What is Lactose intolerance?


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Also Read: Do You Know The Difference Between Dairy-Free and Lactose-free? Find Out Here

A condition related to a person’s digestive system in which a person’s body becomes unable to break down the sugar substance present in the milk known as lactose is termed as Lactose Intolerance. This condition arises when a person’s small intestine stops producing enough lactase, which is an enzyme responsible for the digestion and breakdown of the lactose component present in the dairy products.

Symptoms Of Lactose intolerance

As by now we have understood what lactose is, what is lactose intolerance and what is the reason that gives birth to this condition, let us take a closer look towards some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

  • Rashes on the body
  • Feeling itchy around the mouth
  • Swelled tongue, throat and lips.
  • Cough and runny nose
  • Diarrhoea, Cramps, Nausea and Vomiting
  • Getting short of breath

What is Dairy?


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A simple question whose answer is known to most of us but here is a simple definition of dairy to make it a little easier to understand for those of you who are still scratching their heads. Dairy is a term which basically refers to the department of farming which is concerned with the production of milk and milk products such as cheese, butter, buttermilk, cream, etc.

What is Dairy allergy?

These terms might sound a little alienated, especially to all those children whose mothers have been asking them to drink milk on a daily basis and telling them that it is good for health. Well there is no doubt in it that milk is actually a healthy food consisting of many nutrients and there are many health benefits that milk has but is not proven to be good for everyone. Dairy allergy is a condition which is more inclined to a person’s immune system where the body reacts to the proteins present in the milk. This can be understood as an abnormal response of the immune system towards the milk and milk products which is commonly observed in children, mostly due to cow, goat and sheep milk.

Symptoms of Dairy Allergy


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Also Read: Is Your Kid Allergic To Milk? Here’s How You Can Identify and Resolve The Problem

After decoding the problem of dairy allergy and the reason behind it, let us take a step further and learn about some of its symptoms.

  • Cramps in abdominal region
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea

What's the difference between these two?

Although both lactose intolerance and dairy allergy are caused due to milk and have some common symptoms such as nausea and diarrhoea and seem to be very similar to each other, here are some points to explain the difference between the two-

  • Lactose intolerance involves the digestive system whereas the diary allergy happens due to the immune response by the immune system of the body.
  • Lactose intolerance is caused due to indigestion of sugar substance lactose in the milk whereas dairy allergy is a reaction to the milk proteins called casein and whey.
  • The symptoms of lactose intolerance come up immediately or within 30 minutes whereas it takes several hours or even days for the symptoms of dairy allergy to show up.

Although it can be hard to live with these allergies and disorders it is advised that one must seek medical help in such cases and get themselves tested and treated through a specialist in order to lead a healthy life.

Here are some tips by Dr. Siddhant Bhargava which can help you to understand the issue better and help in recovery.

  • Lactose intolerance is a condition that cannot be prevented
  • The symptoms of lactose intolerance such as Nausea, Diarrhoea, Vomiting and Cramps can be cured by consuming less dairy.
  • There are chances that a person with lactose intolerance can consume processed milk products such as cheese and paneer as more processed the milk would be, the less the lactose content in it.

This article has been curated based upon the boat by Dr. Siddhant Bhargava on his instagram handle. 

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