Woman Suffering from Stomach Pain from lactose intolerance and gastritis while Lying Down on Couch.

Exploring the Link between Lactose Intolerance and Gastritis

Woman Suffering from Stomach Pain from lactose intolerance and gastritis while Lying Down on Couch.

The connection between lactose intolerance and gastritis is important to explore, as the two conditions may be linked. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between lactose intolerance and gastritis and whether or not one can cause the other. We will look at the symptoms of both conditions, how they are diagnosed, and how they can be treated.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which a person is unable to digest the lactose found in milk and other dairy products. This is because the body does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in the small intestine. When people with lactose intolerance consume dairy products, they experience digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

The most common cause of lactose intolerance is an inherited condition called congenital lactase deficiency. This occurs when a person is born without the ability to produce lactase (an enzyme that breaks down lactose). In some cases, a person may develop lactose intolerance due to an illness or injury that damages the small intestine, reducing their ability to produce lactase.

The main symptom of lactose intolerance is digestive discomfort after consuming dairy products.

Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Some people may also experience headaches, fatigue, and joint pain. Symptoms can vary in severity and may appear immediately after consuming dairy or up to several hours later.

What is Gastritis?

Cardboard appliques showing stomach inflammation during gastritis. Gastritis is a term that indicates inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It may be the consequence of an assortment of conditions, including but not limited to chronic alcohol abuse, medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, and long-term health problems. Gastritis can vary in severity and can be either acute (short-lived) or chronic (long-term).

The most common root causes of gastritis involve:

The warning signs of gastritis vary with the severity and type. Common indicators include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or uneasiness, bloating, loss of appetite, belching or burping, fullness while eating, dark-colored stools, hiccups, and indigestion.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or believe you have gastritis, you should reach out to a medical professional to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor will then diagnose your condition and propose treatment options.

Are there any Similarities between Lactose Intolerance and Gastritis?

Although lactose intolerance and gastritis are two different conditions, they can have overlapping symptoms. Both conditions can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating. Additionally, vomiting and diarrhea may be symptoms of both conditions. People with lactose intolerance may also have difficulty digesting other foods that contain carbohydrates, while gastritis may cause hiccups and a feeling of burning in the stomach area.

Is there a Link between Lactose Intolerance and Gastritis?

Some studies1 have been conducted to explore the relationship between lactose intolerance and gastritis. Possible mechanisms that may link lactose intolerance and gastritis include alterations in the digestive system due to lactose malabsorption, and resulting microbial overgrowth or changes in intestinal permeability.

In addition, other factors, such as increased inflammation or a decrease in the production of digestive enzymes, may also contribute to the development of gastritis in people with lactose intolerance.

It is important to keep in mind that there are multiple causes of gastritis, and other factors, such as diet and underlying health conditions, should also be taken into consideration.

Treatment Options for Lactose Intolerance and Gastritis

Photo of healthy food, white meat with little pieces of vegetables.Treating both lactose intolerance and gastritis can be a complex endeavor. Dietary changes are often the first line of defense for those with lactose intolerance. This may involve avoiding certain dairy products or switching to lactose-free alternatives. Additionally, medical treatments are available for gastritis, such as antacids, antibiotics, and proton pump inhibitors.

Discussing these treatment options with a medical professional is important to determine the best course of action. With the right plan in place, it’s possible to treat both lactose intolerance and gastritis.


To sum up, the link between lactose intolerance and gastritis is complex, with evidence pointing to lactose intolerance as a possible cause of gastritis. However, further research is needed to determine the full extent of the relationship. It is important to note that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with either condition, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

While we have explored the potential connection between lactose intolerance and gastritis, the most important thing to remember is that everyone’s situation is unique, and only a doctor can accurately diagnose any medical condition.

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[1] Machado RS, Kawakami E, Goshima S, et al. Hemorrhagic gastritis due to cow's milk allergy: report of two cases. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2003 Jul-Aug;79(4):363-8. Portuguese. PMID: 14513137

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