Lactose intolerance testing

I was diagnosed with IBS many years ago which unfortunately led to a diagnosis of diverticulosis being missed. I have been in hospital with diverticulitis and a perforated bowel so I was on a low residue diet when I could eat and was given a list of suitable food to choose. I had worked out for myself that I have some degree of lactose intolerance and put that down when asked what I couldn't eat on admission but it seemed to be up to me to avoid milky foods (lots on low residue diet!) and no alternative was offered.

Has anyone had a lactose intolerance test on the NHS? Because I'm guessing that is the only way anyone would take any notice. Many tablets say you should tell your GP if you are prescribed them because they contain lactose, so does my asthma inhaler!

10 Replies

  • Hi,

    Yes, I was tested for both fructose and lactose intolerance on the NHS a couple of years ago.

    You're right, it seems as if pharma companies can't think of an alternative to wrapping pills up in lactose despite the fact that it gives quite a few people problems - must be the cheapest option!


  • Hi I was told by my GP that the NHS doesn't do lactose intolerance testing anymore, so he just said to try lactose free foods milk etc and If I felt better than to just carry on. All I know is that If I have cows milk I bloat up and feel ill so I stick to lactose free and lactose free yogurts. Cheese and butter I'm ok with thanks to advice from Rosie!

    I did take a dulcolax tablet the other night and when I read the packet I saw they contained lactose!! I got awful pains so beware of taking those!!

  • Thanks, it has taken ages for the penny to drop but yes, I well remember my only brush with Dulcolax!

    It seems strange that the NHS doesn't test for lactose intolerance because they could be plagued by people demanding lactose free stuff on their own say so rather than a valid test?

  • Totally agree on the milk, how are you, haven't spoke in ages. PM me and let me know how you are.x

  • Hi,

    I'm not too surprised the NHS stopped the tests as I was told at the time that they weren't by any means definitive.


  • I looked up the latest NICE guidelines on IBS which made interesting reading and it does say that a test for lactose intolerance should no longer be part of the tests done.

  • Hi, I went to my Pharmacist & she kindly looked at all my medications including inhalers & gave me a list of alternative Lactose Free Tablets to take. I took this list to my GP & they were re-prescribed. There was only one tablet that was changed to dispersible which I couldn't take so went back to the tablet form. my inhaler was changed too.

    It was a smooth transmission & my Pharamist must have taken a lot of time to check all my tablets but at least I know that's one less thing to rule out.

    My Consultant never suggested it I just took it upon myself to check it out. When I told him how thorough I am he smiled & agreed!

    So I suggest you do do the same as I did.

    Good luck,



  • Hi

    Lactose intolerance is usually done early in IBS diagnosis. it is available onthe NHS. If your worse recently then it probably is the lactose in milk,cream,butter.

    whilst you wait for test try goats milk, no cream and margarine for a few days.i think you will soon know.

    IBS can lead to Diverticulitus so may not have been missed just age related.Sorry your having a rough time. My father had operation for his diverticulitas and was much better after. tests are Not fool proof either so very much self testing to be sure.

    Im hoping after 25+ years of ibs i don't get diverticulitis albeit it is common in 60+ years.

    get well soon

    gff x

  • I say 'mssed' because for 30 years any bowel symptoms have been dismissed as IBS so even though I have had some quite severe pain recently I had given up complaining! I have to admit it was my own fault I got so ill though, I should have gone to A&E much sooner.

  • Yes they do do test for Lactose and fructose, well I say they do my GP surgery does . Just been reading other replies and agree with all lactose wrapped around everything, I have to have specialist medicines made up in liquid form because of lactose.

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