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Pregnancy-induced lactose intolerance?

By October 20, 2009 - 8:18pm
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I am wondering if anyone else has had the symptoms of lactose-intolerance occur to them during pregnancy?

It is strange how many conditions/symptoms begin during pregnancy, and I'm wondering if this is one of them....I don't want to diagnose myself (I go to the doctor next week and will ask; just want to hear other's personal experiences) with a certain condition, but the symptoms I'm experiencing are abdominal cramps, bloating and gas, and only on the days when I consume dairy. Strange!

I'm also very aware that these symptoms can just be the normal pregnancy symptoms, but it has been strange...the days I have cereal, hot chocolate with milk, cheese are when I have the painful symptoms where I can't do much but lie down for 30-60 minutes until the pain & bloating dissipate. I wouldn't think much of these symptoms since being pregnant wreaks havoc on the digestive system, but there is such a strong pattern to the days I do or do not eat dairy that I began to wonder if it's lactose intolerance, induced by pregnancy? (I have a history of pregnancy-induced insulin resistance...gestational diabetes...if that matters, even though I'm normal weight with no other risk factors other than family history of adult-onset diabetes).

Thanks for your input, and I'll let you know what my doctor says. The research I've done on this topic basically says that lactose intolerance in pregnancy is very uncommon, and is more likely the result of normal digestive problems.

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Update from my original question.

I spoke with my OB/GYN about this yesterday, and my personal experience may not relate to anyone else who is dealing with this issue, but hopefully it will help!

Doctor said that she would hesitate to diagnose what I'm experiencing as a specific condition, and that my system may not tolerate dairy well at this point...but that is different than "lactose intolerance" as a chronic condition. Many people have trouble digesting large amounts of cheese anyways, and my digestive system may have trouble digesting my normal amounts of cheese during pregnancy for many reasons. (Digestive organs are being "smooshed" and moved aside to make room for baby, and also, my body is using its resources on the baby and other systems...my digestive system functioning is now low on the totem pole. thanks, baby!)

The remedy: get calcium in other ways, and try smaller portions of dairy, as well as different types. If I still have issues, then wait 4 weeks and try again.

That makes sense...every month definitely is different with pregnancy, so it's nice to not have a diagnosis over my head, and just know that my digestive system may prefer other types of food. (But...I love dairy!!). I also love almond milk, and has as much calcium as milk, so it's all good.

October 22, 2009 - 1:20pm
HERWriter Guide

Alison, I'm so excited for you with #2 on the way!

I have not heard of this but upon doing a search, it may be relatively uncommon but there are plenty of pregnant women going through the same thing.

I never had this in any of my pregnancies. I was very tolerant to ALL foods I like!

Just stick to foods high in calcium of the non dairy variety and you should be ok - you can take a vegan calcium supplement too, I recommend VegLife. Get some sunshine in your bones as well and hopefully this will end when baby makes HER appearance!

October 21, 2009 - 2:00pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks! (LOL...my husband thinks it's a HER, too!) :-)

October 22, 2009 - 1:10pm


When I was pregnant with Chase I remember a lot of mommies complaining about being lactose intolerant during pregnancy. It's not as uncommon as you think. I have no personal experience with it but if you visit this link you may find others with similar symptoms as you.


You can also do a search on the main site and you will find more posts on lactose intolerance during pregnancy.

Hope this helps-- feel better!

October 21, 2009 - 6:36am
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