[Effect of a lactose-free diet on irritable bowel syndrome]

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1993;105(12):342-5.
[Article in German]


Pathological lactose-H2-breath test is a frequent finding in patients with suspected irritable bowel syndrome. We found it in 33 of 55 patients (60%) with chronic non-specific abdominal symptoms. Follow-up examinations after 15 months (mean) exhibited that lactose-free diet relieved symptoms in 57% of these patients completely or nearly completely. In contrast, only 12% of the patients without lactose malabsorption showed equal amelioration on the various unspecific diets and medications. The lactose-free diet succeeded particularly in young patients and patients with a short history of complaints. Therefore, we recommend lactose-H2-breath test in all patients with suspected irritable bowel syndrome for optimizing therapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breath Tests
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / diagnosis
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / physiology
  • Lactose / administration & dosage*
  • Lactose Intolerance / complications
  • Lactose Intolerance / diagnosis
  • Lactose Intolerance / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Hydrogen
  • Lactose