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Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and lactose intolerance contribute to irritable bowel syndrome symptomatology in Pakistan

Javed Yakoob, Zaigham Abbas, Rustam Khan, Saeed Hamid, Safia Awan, Wasim Jafri
Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology: Official Journal of the Saudi Gastroenterology Association 2011, 17 (6): 371-5
22064333

UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND /AIM: The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome resemble those of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of SIBO and lactose intolerance (LI) occurrence in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) according to Rome III criteria.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this retrospective case-control study, patients over 18 years of age with altered bowel habit, bloating, and patients who had lactose Hydrogen breath test (H 2 BT) done were included. The "cases" were defined as patients who fulfill Rome III criteria for IBS-D, while "controls" were those having chronic nonspecific diarrhea (CNSD) who did not fulfill Rome III criteria for IBS-D. Demographic data, predominant bowel habit pattern, concurrent use of medications, etc., were noted.

RESULTS: Patients with IBS-D were 119 (51%) with a mean age of 35 ± 13 years, while those with CNSD were 115 (49%) with mean age 36 ± 15 years. Patients in both IBS-D and CNSD were comparable in gender, with male 87 (74%) and female 77 (64%). SIBO was documented by lactose H₂BT in 32/234 (14%) cases. It was positive in 22/119 (19%) cases with IBS-D, while 10/115 (9%) cases had CNSD (P = 0.03). LI was positive in 43/234 (18%) cases. Of these, 25/119 (21%) cases had IBS-D and 18/115 (16%) cases had CNSD (P = 0.29).

CONCLUSION: SIBO was seen in a significant number of our patients with IBS-D. There was no significant age or gender difference in patients with or without SIBO.

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