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Breath Test

What is a Hydrogen Breath Test?

A hydrogen breath test is used to measure how well certain sugars such as lactose and fructose, are digested and absorbed as well as diagnosing certain gastrointestinal conditions including Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO). Hydrogen is produced when the bacteria in the colon is exposed to certain unabsorbed sugars and carbohydrates.

We offer hydrogen breath testing for the following conditions:

  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO)

What is the preparation for the tests?

All three tests require the same prep:

  • Discontinue all Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) which include Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Dexlansoprazole, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole seven (7) days prior to the test.
  • Discontinue H2 Blockers (Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet, Axid, Rantidine, Famotidine) five (5) days prior to the breath test.
  • The day before your test, please limit your diet to the following foods ONLY:
    • Baked or broiled chicken, fish or turkey with only salt and pepper seasoning if needed
    • White bread only
    • Plain steamed white rice
    • Eggs
    • Clear chicken or beef broth (no vegetable broth)
    • Plain tofu with only salt and pepper seasoning if needed
    • Coffee and Tea with no cream or sugar
    • Avoid all other foods and drinks except water
    • You should begin a complete fast (no food or drinks other than water) 12 hours prior to your breath test.
    • On the day of your test, there is no smoking (including second hand smoke) at least 1 hour before or at any time during the test.
    • No sleeping or vigorous exercise for at least 1 hour before or at any time during the test.
    • Nothing by mouth one (1) hour before you start your breath test. This means no water, gum, mints, smoking, etc.

How is the breath test administered?

Each test is 3 hours in length and begins with a base line breath sample. Then, depending on the test, you will drink a specialized solution. Lactose and Fructose tests require 1 breath sample each hour of the test. SIBO tests require a breath sample every 20 minutes. You will complete the breath test at home.

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