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What is breath testing?

A breath test is a painless and non-invasive way to diagnose a number of gastrointestinal disorders. During a breath test, patients will breathe into a machine that takes samples to test for one of the four conditions below:

Lactose Intolerance

The patient drinks a lactose-loaded beverage. A breath sample is taken and analyzed to measure the amount of hydrogen. Normally, very little hydrogen is detectable in the breath, but undigested lactose produces high levels of hydrogen.

Patient Instructions for the Lactose Test

Fructose Intolerance

The patient drinks a sugary drink. A breath sample is taken and analyzed to measure the amount of hydrogen. A high presence of hydrogen will indicate the body’s difficulty absorbing the fructose.

Patient Instructions for Fructose Test

Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO)

A baseline breath sample will be taken. After this, the patient drinks a carbohydrate solution. Once the test starts, the patient will blow into a machine every 15-20 minutes. This will continue until results are reached, which may take up to 3 hours. Results will be given to a Charlotte Gastro physician who will interpret the results and contact the patient.

Patient Instructions for Bacterial Overgrowth Test

Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori)

A baseline sample will be taken by having the patient inhale, hold their breath momentarily, and then exhale into a bag. The patient will then drink a solution through a plastic straw. After 15 minutes, a second breath sample will be collected. Samples are sent to Charlotte Gastro’s Randolph Road office for evaluation.

Patient Instructions for H Pylori Test