Case Study:

B.B. an 18 year old male, presents to his doctors office with a year long history of "gas and diarrhea". Discomfort began about one year ago and occurred on average about once per month. The symptoms have increased in frequency and now occur at least once a week. B.B. says that the most severe episodes occur on Sunday following "ice cream dates" with his girlfriend. He doesn't notice any association with any other foods such as meats and vegetables.

B.B.'s physical examination is normal as are his electrolytes, blood count and urinalysis. B.B. is admitted to the hospital where radiologic examination with barium contrast media of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract is normal. He is given two large glasses of milk to drink which provoke his symptoms of abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

1. What is your diagnosis?

††††††††††† Lactose Intolerance

Deficiency or inactivity of Lactase which cleaves Lactose into Glucose and Galactose

2. Discuss the relationship between this diagnosis and a patientís ethnicity.


Ethnic Group




American Indian


African American









3. Can this condition occur in infants?

††††††††††† Yes, hence soy based baby formulas



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