This test would be recommended to you for the evaluation of intolerance to lactose, fructose, sorbitol and sucrose.
It can also be undertaken to assess small bowel bacterial overgrowth that is associated with a number of conditions including diabetes and previous radiation exposure and gastrointestinal surgery.
The symptoms for all of these conditions include diarrhoea and bloating with abdominal cramps that can mimic Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is therefore important to consider these alternative conditions when diagnosing IBS.
The test itself can be done at home or at the office and takes up to several hours to do. Before swallowing the substance being tested, a baseline measurement of exhaled hydrogen and methane is done and then the change in exhaled levels of these gases forms the basis of this test. Adding in methane to the more traditional hydrogen breath test increases the accuracy of the breath test to obtain a correct diagnosis.
If it is suitable for you to do the test at home, a number of bags will be sent to you to blow into and collect the breath and these are sent back to the office to analyse.
This test is non invasive and in the case of lactose intolerance (a common reason for undertaking this procedure) is a more patient friendly way of determining lactose intolerance than the alternative test that requires a series of blood tests over several hours.
To order a home breath test, please visit our Sussex Breath Testing website where you can see full instructions and place your order online.