Lactose intolerance is associated with the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose. Several conditions have symptoms that overlap with those of lactose intolerance. Thus, it is commonly misdiagnosed. There are established investigation procedures that aid diagnosis which include the lactose challenge and the hydrogen breath tests. However, differential diagnosis remains challenging. We aimed at identifying gaps in knowledge regarding lactose intolerance among medical practitioners using a survey consisting of 15 questions. It was completed by 98 doctors. Most questions were answered correctly by more than half of the participants. There was no significant difference in the frequency of correct answers between the different medical specialists or age of participating doctors. Crucially, one question relating to the hydrogen breath test was answered incorrectly by 85% of the participants. This highlights acceptable knowledge of general issues, but not the diagnostic aspects, of lactose intolerance among doctors.
Lactose intolerance; knowledge; practice; survey