Hydrogen Breath Testing
Symptoms of gas and bloating are very frequent in the general population. Dietary intolerance of certain foods and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are among the more common causes for these complaints. We are able to offer in-office Hydrogen Breath Testing for evaluation of patients suspected of having small intestinal malabsorption from a variety of causes.
What is the hydrogen breath test?
The hydrogen breath test is used to identify several conditions including lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance and abnormal growth of bacteria in the intestine.
What is lactose and fructose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Fructose intolerance is the inability to digest fructose, which is table sugar. Lactose intolerance occurs because of the body’s lack of lactase, an enzyme normally produced by the small intestine. Lactase is needed to digest lactose. Symptoms of intolerance include cramping, bloating, gas, or diarrhea when dairy products are consumed.
What is bacterial overgrowth in the intestine?
Normally, small amounts of bacteria are found in the intestine. If there is a significant increase in the amount of bacteria, food and nutrients are not absorbed properly. Bacterial overgrowth can result from a slow transit of food through the bowels, prior bowel surgery or disease or from certain medications. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
What happens during the hydrogen breath test?
A breath sample will be collected and tested for the presence of hydrogen. To obtain the sample, you will be asked to blow up a balloon-type bag. Normally, very little hydrogen is detected in the breath. You will then be given a pleasant tasting solution to drink. Breath samples are collected every 15-30 minutes for 2-3 hours to detect any increase in hydrogen in the breath as the solution is digested. Increased hydrogen breath levels indicate improper digestion.
Urea Breath Test for H. pylori
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is an important pathogen of the stomach lining. It has been associated with chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and stomach cancer. There are several tests available to diagnose H. pylori in the stomach lining. Among the most convenient and least invasive of these studies involves the Urea Breath Test. We utilize the BreathTek in-office kit for rapid diagnosis of H. pylori.
- 4 Simple Steps
- Administered In-Office in About 15 Minutes