Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance

Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance and coeliac disease often appear together, however, for different reasons. Before a diagnosis and also during the first period, those suffering from coeliac disease may also suffer from lactose intolerance, caused by the damage to the mucous membrane of the small intestine. In some cases, however, the intolerance towards lactose after beginning a gluten-free diet and the normalisation of the mucous membrane may still persist. This is due to the lack of a genetic enzyme, which in general occurs very frequently in the South-European population, but is not caused by coeliac disease. In these cases the intake of lactose-containing food items (especially milk) can lead to persisting symptoms such as stomach-ache or flatulence. In order to treat this lactose intolerance food containing a high level of lactose (full fat milk, ice cream made of milk, cream cheese) must be avoided. Instead of full fat milk one can use lactose-free milk, which is available in every supermarket. As those affected can tolerate a certain amount of lactose, milk products, such as yogurt or hard cheese, are mostly harmless. Schär also offers a wide range of lactose-free products.