Serious Eats: Talk

Lactose intolerance, how to deal with it?

I'm 22 and in the span of the last 3 years, my tolerance for dairy has dramatically reduced to the point my belly gurgles and hurts (gas) about 2 hours after eating anything made with milk.

This includes:
Custards
Cheeses
Flat white
Yoghurt
Creamed soups
Quiche (???)
Whey shakes
Any pastry creams

Of course, I can handle 4 squares of chocolate, but anything beyond that is giving me daily trouble! Eating out is fraught with difficulties as I believe the lactose amounts accumulates.

Does anyone suffer from lactose intolerance or have good ideas how to manage it, or look up lactose data? The effects vary in severity greatly so it is really difficult to predict the response and it's preventing me from going to social gatherings for fear I will get that dreaded gas. :(

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