Lactose intolerance might be mental

May 12, 2011

Italian researchers report that some people who think they are lactose intolerant may actually suffer from a psychological condition known as somatoform disorder.

With true lactose intolerance, a person is deficient in the enzyme lactase. They suffer from bloating, gas, gut pain and nausea. Somatoform disorder describes a group of conditions in which the physical pain and symptoms a person experiences are really related to psychological factors

Those with somatoform disorder report multiple problems in different areas of the body.

Researchers say it may help for doctors to refer to this study with patients so they can investigate other avenues to helping reduce psychological symptoms.

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