What is the best way to diagnose lactose intolerance?
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For most patients, a careful history and a 2-week lactose-free diet that results in resolution of symptoms—which then recur when lactose is reintroduced—is sufficient to make the diagnosis. Other tests may be used for atypical or complicated cases or when the diagnosis of lactase deficiency needs to be confirmed; of these, the hydrogen breath test is the most widely applicable. (SOR C, based on expert opinion.)
Evidence Based Practice 11(6): 09-10.