Hydrogen Breath Test Used to Diagnose Digestive Disease Symptoms

Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Hydrogen Breath Testing

Dedicated to relieving and treating symptoms of digestive tract pain, the specialists at The Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy offer some of the best options, including the hydrogen breath test, for diagnosing digestive disease.

What is a Hydrogen Breath Test?

A hydrogen breath test is a simple, non-invasive test used to measure the amount of hydrogen in the breath. When lactose is not broken down properly in the small intestine, the body produces too much hydrogen causing digestive disease symptoms. The hydrogen breath test can help diagnose the symptoms causing digestive discomfort.

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How does a Hydrogen Breath Test work?

A patient can take the hydrogen breath test following a short period of fasting. The actual hydrogen breath test requires a patient to drink a solution of lactose, fructose, sucrose, or glucose mixed in water. After drinking the solution, the patient breaths into a plastic bag every 15 minutes. Fructose breath testing determines if fructose is being malabsorbed in the body. Lactose breath testing indicates lactose intolerance. Lactulose breath testing can reveal a bacterial overgrowth.

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When is a Hydrogen Breath Test recommended?

The hydrogen breath test commonly is used to diagnose patients with irritable bowel syndrome and common food intolerances.