Lactose is Hiding Everywhere!
I'm constantly amazed at how many products contain lactose. It's in every aisle of the grocery store and in a lot of medicines as well.
Lactose gets added to a very large percentage of processed foods. It's added as milk itself (like in milk chocolate) or as cream (as in Creamy Mushroom Soup or Bailey's Irish Cream - yes it does!). Often it's a dried milk product like non-fat dried milk. Still easy to identify. Cheese is a pretty obvious dairy product too. But often the lactose sneaks in by some other name. The most common of these is whey. You'll also see it as dairy whey, sweet dairy whey, dried whey and even lactose-reduced whey. See the whey page for way more information about whey.
They put whey in almost everything. There's no end to the number of different food types where whey is lurking.
Below is the ingredients label from a very popular brand of chicken teriyaki rice bowl. As you can see, it has whey in it. The whey came in with the margarine. Do you think any aspect of this product would be different if the whey were left out? I seriously doubt it. Milk products should not be in a chicken teriyaki rice bowl!
Sometimes lactose is added as lactose. Lactose is very common in medicines. I recently went to the doctor who prescribed a well-known "all day" allergy pill for me to try (not for my LI). I had looked up that medicine in the PDR years earlier and discovered it contained lactose. So I asked the doctor to check again. Sure enough it did. So she searched for alternatives - they all contained lactose. So I left without a prescription but my doctor learned something! Not all medicines contain lactose, and some forms do and some don't for the same medicine. For example Benadryl capsules contain lactose. The caplets do not.
So you have to read the label of everything you put into your body. If you avoid anything with milk (and buttermilk) - dried, skim, non-fat et al, cream and sour cream, cheese, whey and lactose, you should be OK. Now see how hard that is!