Lactose Intolerance

Supportive Management

  • Minimize symptoms of lactose intolerance:
    • Take small amounts of milk (4 ounces) at a time. Take milk with other food.
    • Not all dairy products would produce symptoms. Note what dairy products trigger the lactose intolerance symptoms, and avoid them. Also note the dairy products that can be personally tolerated well – they may still be included in the diet.
    • Eat lactose-free or lactose-reduced labeled food.
    • Supplement calcium in the diet by eating other non-dairy but calcium-rich food such as okra, orange, spinach, broccoli, soy products (e.g. tofu, soy milk, and soy beans), canned sardines, canned salmon, tuna, calcium-fortified products (e.g. bread, cereal, fruit juices) and rice milk.
    • Also have enough Vitamin D by: eating Vitamin D-rich food such as liver and eggs, and by spending time (earlier than 10am) under the sun.

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Herbal Medicine

  • Salabat
    • Boil three middle-finger-sized luya in 3 glasses of water. Boil in low heat for 15-minutes. Strain and serve. May add calamansi and honey for flavor.
  • Strong Ginger Tincture
    • For adult use only.
    • Fill a jar with 50g peeled fresh ginger. Pour 90% alcohol (e.g. tuba) over the top to make 100 mL. Shake the jar well. Keep the jar stored in a dark cabinet and shake periodically for two weeks. After two to three weeks, strain and store the ginger tincture in a cool, dark place. For use, take 0.25 to 0.5 mL.
  • Bayabas (Guava) Leaves Decoction
    • The amount of guava leaves to be used corresponds to the age of the person the decoction is intended for. For a person aged 2-6, use either 1 ½ tablespoons of dried leaves or 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves; for a person aged 7-12, use either 3 tablespoons of dried leaves or 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves; and for those older than 12, use either 6 tablespoons of dried leaves or 8 tablespoons of fresh leaves. Boil the leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes or until the water is halved. Strain. Divide the decoction in 4 doses, and take each dose every 2-3 hours.
  • Sambong Leaves Decoction
    • Boil either three handfuls of fresh sambong leaves or one handful of dried sambong leaves for every 2 cups of water. Boil for 15-30 minutes and then, strain. Divide the decoction into 3-4 doses to be taken in one day. Use the decoction the same day it was prepared.
  • Coconut Water
    • For fluid and electrolyte replacement
    • For every 2 glasses of plain coconut water, add 2 glasses of clean water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Take one glass with each bowel movement.
  • Tanglad Roots and Luya Decoction
    • There is no fixed dose for the tanglad roots. Boil tanglad roots with luya for 5-10 minutes. Strain and take the decoction.
  • Lubigan Rhizome Decoction
    • Remove the rootlets. Rinse the rhizomes, cut them into parts, and dry them. If lubigan is dried, use 6-13 tablespoons of it for the decoction, whereas if fresh lubigan is to be used, use 4-6 tablespoons instead. Boil rhizome in 5 glasses of water to make 2 glasses of decoction.


Consult doctor immediately if affected person is experiencing any of the following:

  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days
  • Abdominal pain so severe he/she can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
  • Unable to keep fluids down due to frequent vomiting
  • Have little to no urine

Consult doctor:

  • For appropriate diagnosis and management, as lactose intolerance symptoms are similar to other conditions (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome).
  • If supportive management interventions don’t help in relieving symptoms.