Breath Testing

What is Breath Testing?

Breath testing is used as a clinical medical diagnosis for people with various digestive disorders. Testing is simple, non-invasive, and is typically performed after a short period of fasting. Conditions and diseases that we test for include:     

  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (with a lactulose hydrogen breath test),

  • Lactose intolerance

  • Fructose intolerance

  • Helicobacter pylori bacteria (with a urea test) 

Lactulose Hydrogen Breath Test

The lactulose hydrogen breath test is used to test for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. There is normally a high concentration of bacteria in the colon, or large intestine, with a much smaller concentration in the small intestine. Peristaltic contractions (rhythmic contractions that propel food throughout the digestive tract) occur at regular intervals in a fasting state, about once every 90 minutes, and are partly responsible for keeping the bacteria down in the colon where they belong. However, in some people these rhythmic contractions do not occur as regularly as they should, allowing bacteria to migrate backwards from the large intestine up to the small intestine in abnormally high concentrations. The consequence of bacterial overgrowth within the small intestine can be serious malabsorption that results in clinically important deficiencies of several nutrients. The lactulose hydrogen breath test is a key diagnostic tool used in the assessment of this condition.

There is normally a high concentration of bacteria in the colon, or large intestine, with a much smaller concentration in the small intestine. Peristaltic contractions (rhythmic contractions that propel food throughout the digestive tract) occur at regular intervals in a fasting state, about once every 90 minutes, and are partly responsible for keeping the bacteria down in the colon where they belong. However, in some people these rhythmic contractions do not occur as regularly as they should, allowing bacteria to migrate backwards from the large intestine up to the small intestine in abnormally high concentrations.

Lactose Hydrogen Breath Test

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. It causes cramping, bloating, gas or diarrhea any time dairy products are consumed. Lactose intolerance occurs due to the body’s lack of lactase, an enzyme normally produced by the small intestine. The lactose hydrogen breath test is a quick and easy way to discover if a patient has lactose intolerance. Studies indicate that as many as 70% of patients that have lactose intolerance do not relate their symptoms to lactose ingestion. They may even mislead their physicians by denying a connection of their symptoms to their diet. The lactose hydrogen breath test is done in the office and only requires five minutes of the patient’s time. This test is simple, non-invasive, and gives the doctor immediate results. 

Fructose Hydrogen Breath Test

The fructose hydrogen breath test explains why eating too much fruit or drinking a non-diet soda can trigger an upset stomach, excessive gas, and bloating. Fructose intolerance has become a recent problem as food manufacturers have started substituting fructose for sucrose in their foods because fructose is sweeter and less expensive than sucrose. The fructose hydrogen breath test is a useful tool for the doctor to rapidly diagnose distressing stomach symptoms. The test is done in the office and only requires five minutes of the patient’s time. This test is simple, non-invasive, and gives the doctor immediate results.

Urea Breath Test

The urea breath test is used to test for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a very common infection in the stomach that is known to contribute to the development of dyspepsia, gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, and stomach cancer. The test is based upon the ability of the H. pylori bacteria to break down urea into carbon dioxide, which is then exhaled and can be measured. This test is almost always performed in the office, is painless and takes only 15 minutes of the patient’s time.

 

 

 


Location
Leo Treyzon, MD
8631 W. 3rd St., #1015-E
Cedars Sinai Medical Towers

Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 424-275-6585
Fax: 424-488-7156
Office Hours

Get in touch

info@treyzonmed.com
424-275-6585

Leo Treyzon, MD
8631 W. 3rd St.
#1015-E
Los Angeles, CA 90048