Medical history and physical exam for lactose intolerance

Medical history

Asking questions about your medical history is an important part of diagnosing lactose intolerance. Your doctor may ask you about:

  • Your symptoms and when they occur. To help make a diagnosis, your doctor may ask you to keep track of what and when you eat and the type of symptoms you have.
  • Recent illnesses, long-term diseases, or surgeries involving your stomach or intestines.
  • Your family history of lactose intolerance.
  • Your ethnic background. Most people in the world become somewhat lactose-intolerant as adults. People with a northern European heritage usually are the exception.

If your baby may have lactose intolerance, you may be asked if he or she:

  • Has diarrhea often.
  • Seems hungry all the time.
  • Has gained little or no weight.
  • Seems irritable.

Physical exam

The physical exam for lactose intolerance includes examining your belly. You may also be asked to bring in a sample of your stool. The stool of a person with lactose intolerance is usually loose or watery. It also can be foamy.

Last Updated: August 3, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.