The researchers found that lactose intolerance may be all in the mind. Several people who claim to be intolerant to milk sugar lactose are merely worried and depressed. Their symptoms are real because the cause is in their mind rather than in a cup of coffee.
The Italian study has significant insinuations for health, because many people who believe they are lactose intolerant slash out dairy products from their diet. Lactose intolerance could leave people severely short of calcium, increasing the odds of brittle bones, falls and fracture in old age.
The earlier study concluded that nine out of ten people who think they have lactose intolerance are in fact perfectly healthy. In a recent study, the team led by Guido Basilico from the University of Milan examined more than one hundred people who had pain in stomach, bloating, diarrohea and those believed they were lactose intolerant.
The team verified, if they really did have problems in breaking down the sugar and absorbing that into the blood. The study subjects were also asked about their physical and mental health, including if they were depressed or suffered from common aches and pains. The study found that their stomach problems have too small to do digestion of lactose.
However, their mental state did appear to be to blame. There was no qualm that genes in some people make it hard for them to digest lactose and this causes stomach problems when they drink large amounts of milk, explained Dr Basilico. However, people who claimed to experience problems from a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate were perfectly competent of digesting lactose.
Rather than being intolerant, their symptoms have a psychological base. Just as stress can cause headaches, it can also cause tummy problem. People should not to be too quick to slash dairy products from their diets and doctors should think twice about subjecting patients who claim to be lactose intolerant to lots of physical tests, stated Dr Basilico.
He added that excluding dairy products should be discouraged and doctors should pay more attention to the psychological problems of their patients. The problem of pretend food allergies and intolerance is not restricted to adults, with researchers formerly warning that new mothers are too quick to decide their children have food allergies or intolerances.