(800) 633-8446 Menu
Send us a text

Now serving New Jersey & Connecticut

Lactose Intolerance

Patients who have had a gastric bypass procedure may experience one variety of gastric bypass side effects, lactose intolerance. Learn about how and why this may occur, and how this may affect your diet after gastric bypass.

Lactose, the natural sugar found in milk products, is digested in the small bowel by means of the enzyme lactase. About 10% of adults in the United States are lactose intolerant meaning they do not have enough lactase to digest ingested lactose. When they eat milk or milk products (that contain lactose), they develop crampy abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.

While not one of the most common gastric bypass side effects, lactose intolerance can be acquired after gastric bypass in a small percentage of patients. When a person with a normal stomach drinks milk, it accumulates in the stomach and then is released slowly into the small intestine. There is enough lactase available to handle a small amount of milk at a time.

After gastric bypass, milk passes directly through the gastric pouch into the small bowel at a much higher rate. The milk can overwhelm the available enzyme (lactase) and the lactose intolerance symptoms occur, leading to lactose intolerance as one of the side effects of bariatric surgery. The strategies to deal with lactose intolerance that develops as one of the gastric bypass side effects you experience will be to take milk products more slowly, eat thicker products such as yogurt or cheese rather than liquid milk, potentially avoid milk products all together, or take an enzyme substitute Lactaid with meals.

Adjusting your diet after gastric bypass is one of many important lifestyle changes which may be required. While lactose intolerance isn’t one of the most common gastric bypass side effects, there’s certainly a possibility it could occur for you, and you should be aware of what that may entail.

Getting Started

Our team is happy to speak with you and help you understand any of the treatments we offer, or answer any questions you have. Please call and speak with us at 800-633-8446, or read more about the surgical and non-surgical options we offer here.

Call: 800-633-8446

Contact Online

What our patients are saying

“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

Learn more

"Dr. Holover has a great personality, I love him, I consider him a good friend, and I recommend him to everyone. He and his staff are amazing. I thought my recovery would be worse, but it wasn’t. It was great. After a couple of days I was back on my feet and going, with three boys you don’t have time to be down. Now, my kids have to keep up with me!"

Learn more

"My results are incredible; I can go to any store and find clothes that fit, I don’t have to go to the big and tall store anymore. My family and friends say I look great, but more so are so happy about my health. Definitely go for it, it is well worth it."

Learn more

"My recovery was very easy, I started moving around pretty quick because the nurses had me up and about. Dr. Angstadt has a great bedside manner, a cheerful disposition and is very knowledgeable. He was genuinely concerned for me, he answered all of my questions and put me at ease. I couldn’t be happier, I think it is the best decision I ever made."

Learn more

"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

Learn more

"I had a couple of friends who had bariatric surgery done by Dr. Garber a few years back and I decided to make the appointment. My favorite thing about the surgery is not being able to eat that much, eating whatever I want but in smaller portions. My results are amazing"

Learn more

*Individual results may vary.

BMI Calculator

What is your height?

ft in

What is your weight?


Your BMI is

Try Again