comments: HIV, longer duration of HIV, and mitochondrial toxicity may play a
role in damaging GI tract and leading to symptoms described below. This area
has received little research attention. And doctors and patients don't pay
much attention to GI symptoms any more.
LAS VEGAS (Reuters Health) - Many patients with unexplained gastrointestinal
symptoms have fructose intolerance, according to study findings presented
Monday at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of
Unexplained bloating, flatus, and distension are common GI complaints. While
much attention has been paid to lactose intolerance as a potential cause,
fructose intolerance has received relatively little attention.
Dr. Young K. Choi and colleagues from the University of Iowa in Iowa City
administered a fructose breath test to 219 patients with unexplained GI
symptoms. The patients were also given a symptom questionnaire and assessed
for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Nearly 80% of patients had a positive breath test, the researchers note.
Furthermore, the fructose given during the test reproduced the GI symptoms of
58% of patients. Based on questionnaire results, 130 of 159 patients met ROME
I criteria for IBS.
"We were quite surprised to find such a high prevalence of fructose
intolerance," Dr. Choi told Reuters Health. "The results also suggest that
many people with IBS have underlying fructose intolerance," he added.
However, "the patients we studied were referred to us by outlying centers, so
it is hard to know the actual prevalence of fructose intolerance."
"The fructose breath test is probably not performed at most community
hospitals," Dr. Choi noted. "The test is somewhat time-consuming, but
relatively simple to perform."
Further studies are needed to better characterize the problem, he said. Until
then, it is important for physicians to recognize the problem because
institution of a low fructose diet may improve symptoms.