• Statistics

    • Lactose is the sugar in milk products. Individuals who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme or chemical (lactase) to break down this sugar for absorption. Lactose then gets into the large bowel (colon) and may cause gas, bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Sometimes lactose intolerance occurs after digestive infections.
    • Lactose intolerance affects more than 7 million Canadians. This is likely an underestimate as many individuals do not associate their symptoms with lactose-containing foods or are asymptomatic.
    • For individuals who seek medical attention for their symptoms, physicians only submit 10% for clinical testing specifically for lactose intolerance. Since only 10% of symptomatic patients are clinically tested (294,000 people), it appears that Canadian physicians underestimate the daily impact of chronic lactose intolerance symptoms.
    • 25% of patients, clinically identified as lactose intolerant, have celiac disease. In Canada, that means 73,500 people have undiagnosed celiac disease which is the causal agent for their lactose intolerance.
    • A digestive disease patient may consume 10 g or more of lactose each day from their drugs.
    • Lactose intolerant people who use a lactase containing product will spend over $500 per year. These costs are not covered by insurance plans as the product is sold over-the-counter.
    • Lactose intolerant people who avoid dairy products should be taking calcium supplements. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg for adults and 1,300 mg for those over the age of 50 years. The annual cost per person taking 750 mg calcium per day ranges from $50 to $75. Again, these costs are not covered by insurance plans as products are sold over-the-counter.

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The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health

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