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I'm Lactose Intolerant and Got a Burning Pain After Drinking Milk. What Should I Do?

My doctor says I'm lactose intolerant and I drank some milk. Now I have the worst burning pain in my stomach. What is safe to take to ease the pain?
- Shin*

Lactose intolerance usually gives a person a stomachache and gas pains or stomach cramps. Gas pains can feel sharp at times, though they don't usually feel like burning. Gas pains can hurt a lot, but they don't last long. They often move quickly to different parts of the belly.

Someone with lactose intolerance may notice bloating, stomach cramps, or nausea within a couple hours of eating foods with lactose. Some people say the gas they get feels like having a bubble in the belly — they might even feel it moving through the digestive system.

Lactose intolerance can give people diarrhea or make them fart after eating cow's milk products. All these things happen because the digestive system is trying to process the sugars found in cow's milk.

Before you take anything to try to feel better, check with your doctor. Since burning pain isn't usually part of lactose intolerance, you'll need your doctor's advice. Any time you notice symptoms that seem different from your usual ones, you want to get checked out, since they could be a sign that something else is going on.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2012

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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