Lactose intolerance (LI) is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, or bloating occur-ring after lactose consumption in patients with lactose malabsorption. The National Institute of Health (NIH) proposed a double‐blind placebo testing to identify LI individuals correctly. However, until now, no study used this approach in a real‐life setting. We aimed to assess double‐blind placebo challenge accuracy in diagnosing LI in patients with self‐reported symptoms of LI. 148 patients with self‐reported LI were consecutively enrolled and blindly underwent hydrogen breath test (HBT) after 25 g lactose or 1 g glucose (placebo) load. One week later, the subjects were challenged with the alternative substrate. Each subject completed a validated questionnaire, including five symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, bowel sounds, and bloating) scored on a 10‐cm visual analog scale. Home questionnaire (HQ) referred to symptoms associated with the consumption of dairy products at home, while lactose questionnaire (LQ) and placebo questionnaire (PQ) referred to symptoms perceived throughout the 4‐h after the administration of the substrates, respectively. After lactose load, HBT was positive in 81 patients (55%), of whom 60 (74%) reported relevant symptoms at LQ (lactose malabsorbers, LM). After placebo challenge, 45 out of 60 with a positive lactose challenge did not complain of symptoms and therefore were diagnosed as lactose intolerant, according to NIH definition. The blinded oral challenges with lactose and placebo accurately diagnose LI and identify patients who will likely benefit from a lactose‐free diet.

Blinded oral challenges with lactose and placebo accurately diagnose lactose intolerance: a real‐life study

Compare D.;Sgamato C.;De Simone L.;Coccoli P.;Melone M. L.;Nardone G.
2021

Abstract

Lactose intolerance (LI) is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, or bloating occur-ring after lactose consumption in patients with lactose malabsorption. The National Institute of Health (NIH) proposed a double‐blind placebo testing to identify LI individuals correctly. However, until now, no study used this approach in a real‐life setting. We aimed to assess double‐blind placebo challenge accuracy in diagnosing LI in patients with self‐reported symptoms of LI. 148 patients with self‐reported LI were consecutively enrolled and blindly underwent hydrogen breath test (HBT) after 25 g lactose or 1 g glucose (placebo) load. One week later, the subjects were challenged with the alternative substrate. Each subject completed a validated questionnaire, including five symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, bowel sounds, and bloating) scored on a 10‐cm visual analog scale. Home questionnaire (HQ) referred to symptoms associated with the consumption of dairy products at home, while lactose questionnaire (LQ) and placebo questionnaire (PQ) referred to symptoms perceived throughout the 4‐h after the administration of the substrates, respectively. After lactose load, HBT was positive in 81 patients (55%), of whom 60 (74%) reported relevant symptoms at LQ (lactose malabsorbers, LM). After placebo challenge, 45 out of 60 with a positive lactose challenge did not complain of symptoms and therefore were diagnosed as lactose intolerant, according to NIH definition. The blinded oral challenges with lactose and placebo accurately diagnose LI and identify patients who will likely benefit from a lactose‐free diet.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/902313
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