Hydrogen Breathing Test
We provide an in-house service of checking for lactose and fructose intolerance. This is done using a hydrogen breath test.
How does it work?
This test is based on breath hydrogen analysis providing information about how your body digests certain sugars – namely fructose (e.g. fruit sugar) and lactose (e.g. milk). The amount and pattern of hydrogen produced in your exhaled breath can help determine the nature of your intolerance.
Sugars we digest, such as fructose and lactose, are usually absorbed in the small bowel. Very little reaches the large bowel, which is where many of our important bacteria reside. Several individuals are unable to process and absorb these sugars leading to symptoms (see below). In these people, the sugars travel to our large bowel and are fermented by bacteria leading to hydrogen production (quantity based on the level of intolerance).
What are the possible symptoms of Lactose/Fructose intolerance?
Symptoms may be vague and include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Loose stool
- Change in bowel habit
I Would Like One Done?
You are NOT allowed the following one day prior to the test:
- Milk or dairy products
- Fruit juice
- Honey or canned fruit
- Garlic or onion
- Bran or oats
- Beans and legumes
Antibiotics – none should be taken for at least one month prior to the test.
Proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Pariet, Somac, Losec, Zoton) – must not be taken for at least one week prior to the test.
H2 receptor antagonists (Zantac, Tazac) – must not be taken for at least one week prior to the test.
Do not take any food or drink for 4 hours prior to the test.