Analysis of lactose intolerance in students with suggestive symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome is a clinical condition presenting pain, distension and abdominal fullness, diarrhea, constipation, and other symptoms. It generates significant impacts on the quality of life of those affected. The pathophysiology is uncertain, but the role of various food types has been established in bowel sensitivity and its clinical manifestations. Carbohydrate intolerance, particularly to lactose, generates similar and sometimes indistinguishable symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome, and in clinical practice is both a frequent and underdiagnosed condition. Carbohydrate intolerance is related to enzymatic deficiencies, alterations of intestinal microbiota and even genetic change. The principal test for a diagnosis of lactose intolerance is the breath test, which measures hydrogen emission (produced only by bacteria), after ingestion of the corresponding substrate. OBJECTIVE: The present work aims to verify the prevalence of lactose intolerance in university students, presenting gastrointestinal symptoms suggestive of irritable bowel syndrome. METHODS: In a transversal study, to screen for those with suggestive symptoms, 124 medicine students participated by responding to a form. Those with abdominal pain were referred for anti-parasite treatment in order to exclude intestinal parasites as a secondary cause. Subsequently, using the hydrogen breath test, bacterial overgrowth was investigated, and if negative, lactose intolerance testing would...
Source: Arquivos de Gastroenterologia - Category: Gastroenterology Source Type: research

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