Becoming lactose intolerant latter in life?

Is it possible to become lactose intolerant latter in life? I am a Chinese (from Singapore), has been drinking milk since young and never had a problem due recently (or so I guess).

Could one become lactose intolerant when he wasn’t before?

It’s not uncommon to develop problems digesting milk when you’re in your 20s, and can happen older than that as well.

I’m asian and it hit me around 30. I’m wondering if part of the problem was that I wasn’t drinking much milk during my 20’s.

Yes, I had a Cryptosporidium bout when I was in my mid 20’s and ever since I’ve had to watch which dairy products I eat.

I didn’t develop lactose intolerance until I was about 45. It took a while for me to make the correlation between the times when I indulged in my love of cheese and the time spent sitting on the throne. Also, over time the degree of intolerance has become worse; when I first became aware of it I could eat up to about four ounces of cheese without having to take a Lactaid, but now I have to take one with almost any amount of dairy products, and even with Lactaid I can’t eat large quantities. (The days of downing a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s at one sitting are gone, alas.)

I’m 27, and it never bothered me until a year or so ago. Drank milk constantly as a child. I take Lactaid pills, and they help, but not completely.
I miss cheese.

You can become intolerant at any age. Cases of people in their 70s are known.

I talk a little bit about the background in this thread.

try Chevrie, its a goat cheese that comes in a small plastic pyramid, the stuff is fantastic. esp the garlic and herb stuff

there are alot of goat/sheep cheeses out there that are wonderful.

I developed lactose intolerance in my mid 30’s. I’m OK with cheese, yogurt and ice cream, but plain fresh milk (raw or pasturized makes no difference) wrecks me and the flatulence will have everyone in a call center upset. I take a calcium suppliment and try to eat cottage cheese regularly.

I became intolerant in my forties after what we think was a bout with E. Coli, but I can still handle hard cheeses, and, with enough lactase pills, even small amounts of ice cream, but there aren’t enough pills in the world for me to digest ricotta.
I’m Caucasian, BTW.

Goat cheese, like all goat dairy products, has exactly as much lactose as the equivalent cow’s milk product.

I’m going through this right now and it took me a while to catch on. My guts were going berserk for no apparent reason.

Finally, one day it dawned on me: “It’s the milk!” And then I was like, “Wait a minute, I can’t have milk? WTF?”

It sucks.

ETA: Male, White, 37

I’m guessing I’m slightly lactose intolerant. Cheese treats me fine (although I tend more towards more aged cheeses like cheddar, so that may be less correlated). A glass of milk might lead some some “bloated” feeling, more than that leads to gas. I first really noticed it a few years back (I’m currently 32).

As an add-on question: would consistent dairy intake delay (or stave off completely) being lactose intolerant? Like Darryl Lict, my milk drinking tapered off for a while during / after college.

I guess my question is, if the enzyme isn’t used for a period of time, does the body say “well, he must be weaned now. FINALLY!” and close down production of the enzyme that breaks down lactose?

The reduction of lactase production is totally independent of any dietary correlation. It happens whether or not you have dairy, and continues whether or not you start having dairy.

I’m a little interested in this. I show signs of intolerance only on reduced or zero fat milk. Full cream is no problem at all. I wonder if it had anything to do with growing up on a dairy farm. Our daily supply (and we drank a LOT) was lifted directly from the vat by bucket, taken up to the house and chilled on the fridge. So creamy you had to mix it every time you wanted to pour.


Absolutely. I went from fine to leaning on a Lactaid pill to avoiding anything ‘’ thinner ‘’ than Brie. Cheese is fine.
I cannot touch cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, milk, etc.

I really miss ice cream. :frowning:


Is it possible to be temporarily lactose intolerant? I had a period of about 1.5 years where anything I had w/lactose set my stomach into barrel rolls.

I had never had any lactose issues before and one day it was like it just stopped - I had some ice cream, didn’t have any issues and haven’t had any since

I know it’s possible to be intermittently lactose intolerant, or so is implied by my being able to chug 1.3 liters of 2% without problem one week and suffer when doing the same the following week.