Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people have symptoms due to the decreased ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Those affected vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate before symptoms develop. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. These symptoms typically start thirty minutes to two hours after eating or drinking milk-based food. Severity typically depends on the amount a person eats or drinks. Lactose intolerance does not cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract.