Lactose Intolerance - A Review
Lactose intolerance is the syndrome of lactose mal-digesters in which consumption of lactose
containing dairy products may induce symptoms like abdominal bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea,
abdominal pain and discomfort. These symptoms result from bacterial fermentation of undigested
lactose present in the colon. This is diagnosed by patients ingesting a standard dose of lactose
after fasting and measuring breath hydrogen. Elevated breath hydrogen levels are a result of this bacterial
fermentation taking place in the colon. Presently the management of lactose intolerance is by reducing
lactose exposure. This is done by avoiding milk and milk-containing products or by drinking
milk in which the lactose has been pre-hydrolyzed with lactase.
Keywords: Hypolactasia, irritable bowel syndrome, blood glucose test, hydrogen breath test, lactase.
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