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Lactose tolerance serum test
This is a test to see whether your body is able to break down lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products. Lactase, an enzyme in your stomach, breaks down lactose into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Within 2 hours of eating, your blood glucose level should rise. This blood test measures the increase.
You may have this test if you have symptoms of lactose intolerance. Symptoms include:
Diarrhea, especially after you eat or drink milk and other dairy products such as ice cream and cheese
Lactose intolerance is more common in people of certain ethnic backgrounds. These include African, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Asian.
You also might have this test if you have an intestinal problem like inflammatory bowel disease or a malabsorption syndrome like short gut syndrome. Infants who are not gaining enough weight may also have this test.
You may also have a lactose hydrogen breath test, another way to measure your body's ability to break down lactose. This test measures the amount of hydrogen in your breath. If you are unable to digest lactose, your breath will have a high amount of hydrogen.
If this test is for your child, he or she may have stool tested for acidity. A child may have glucose in his or her stool because of undigested lactose.
You may also have a glucose tolerance test. Glucose tolerance is used to diagnose diabetes. When you have diabetes, either your pancreas does not make enough of the hormone insulin to break down sugar, or the cells in your body that use insulin become more resistant to it.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
If your glucose levels increase to greater than 20 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after drinking the lactose, you likely don't have lactose intolerance or a problem with absorption.
If your glucose levels don't rise after drinking the lactose, you may be lactose intolerant or have a problem with absorption.
This test requires 4 blood samples, which are drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm. Your healthcare provider will take the first sample before you drink a dose of lactose, usually 100 grams of lactose diluted in 200 milliliters of water. The other blood samples are taken at 3 intervals after you drink the lactose – at 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours.
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
Your results might be affected if you:
Exercise strenuously before testing
Eat or drink before testing
Take antibiotics within 1 month of your test
Have a malabsorption syndrome
This test requires an 8-hour fast. Don't smoke or exercise for at least 8 hours before you have this test. Don't take antibiotics for 1 month before this test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.