Bloating and distention in irritable bowel syndrome: the role of gas production and visceral sensation after lactose ingestion in a population with lactase deficiency

Yujin Zhu, Xia Zheng, Yanqun Cong, Hua Chu, Michael Fried, Ning Dai, Mark Fox
American Journal of Gastroenterology 2013, 108 (9): 1516-25

OBJECTIVES: Bloating and distention are often attributed to dietary factors by patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study examined the effects of gas production and visceral hypersensitivity on digestive symptoms after lactose ingestion in a population with lactase deficiency.

METHODS: IBS patients (n=277) and healthy controls (HCs, n=64) underwent a 20-g lactose hydrogen breath test (LHBT) with evaluation of hydrogen gas production and lactose intolerance (LI) symptoms. Abdominal distention (199 IBS, 40 HCs) was measured during LHBT. Rectal sensitivity (74 IBS, 64 HCs) was assessed by barostat studies.

RESULTS: Hydrogen production and distention were similar in IBS patients and HCs during LHBT; however, LI was more frequent in IBS (53.8 vs. 28.1%, P<0.001), especially bloating (39.0% vs. 14.1%, P<0.001) and borborygmi (39.0 vs. 21.9%, P=0.010). Only 59.0% of patients with bloating had distention. No correlation was observed between girth increment and bloating (P=0.585). IBS patients had lower rectal sensory thresholds (P=0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that hydrogen production increased bloating (odds ratio (OR) 2.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-4.39, P=0.028) and borborygmi (OR 12.37, 95% CI 3.34-45.83, P<0.001) but not distention (P=0.673). Visceral hypersensitivity was associated with bloating (OR 6.61, 95% CI 1.75-25.00, P=0.005) and total symptom score (OR 3.78, 95% CI 1.30-10.99, P=0.014).

CONCLUSIONS: Gas production and visceral hypersensitivity both contribute to digestive symptoms, especially bloating and borborygmi, in IBS patients after lactose ingestion. Objective abdominal distention is not correlated with subjective bloating.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"