Breath Testing (Methane)

Hydrogen Breath Test (Lactulose, Glucose, Lactose, Fructose)

The glucose and lactulose breath tests are done to determine if there is excessive bacteria in the small bowel. Lactulose testing may also be used to determine the time it takes to move through the small bowel. The lactose breath test is used to determine if the patient has lactose intolerance. Fructose testing is used to determine if fructose intolerance exists. The most common problems studied are:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Breath test can last from 2 - 2 1/2 hours. 

To prepare for this study:

    1. Do not eat or drink anything after 7 p.m., although water can be taken before midnight. (If you are diabetic, please talk to your primary care doctor)

    2. No beans (such as lentils or peas) or heavy meats (such as a steak) for dinner the night before the test.

    3. Limit dairy intake. No yogurt.

    4. New patients should stop taking any antibiotics14 days before the test. Repeat patients should stop any antibiotics 4 to 10 days before the test.

    5. You may take scheduled medications at least two hours prior to the study with small sips of water. It is preferable that medications be taken after the study has been concluded.

    6. No gum chewing, mints, or smoking after midnight.

    7. You may brush your teeth in the morning.

Urea Breath Test/ H. Pylori Screening Test 

A urea breath test is used to find out if there is urease (an enzyme produced by the bacteria, helicobacter pylori) in the stomach. It is used to diagnose the infection and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

To prepare for this study:

    1. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight (If you are diabetic, please talk to your primary care doctor).

    2. No smoking or gum chewing. 

    3. No antibiotics, omeprazole or bismuth medications (such as Pepto-Bismol) within two weeks of the test.

    4. You may take other scheduled medications at least two hours prior to the study with small sips of water.

    5. You may brush your teeth in the morning.