Diagnostic Breath Testing

Common gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, bloating, pain and flatulence can be the result of food intolerances or an overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel. Breath testing is quick, easy and non-invasive, and used to diagnose the malabsorption of the carbohydrates lactose & fructose, and identify Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

How does breath testing work?

In healthy people, intestinal bacteria are present in the large bowel or colon, and are able to convert sugar to hydrogen. Some of the hydrogen produced is absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream where it is transported to the lungs and exhaled in your breath as you breathe. Diagnostic Breath Testing works by measuring the level of hydrogen and/or methane on your breath that is produced when your gut breaks down food. The bacteria in your gut will produce more hydrogen and/or methane when it is reacting badly to something you have eaten. Based on the levels of gases produced, breath testing can help determine if you have a condition, such as a food intolerance, malabsorption or bacterial overgrowth problem.

What is involved with breath testing?

Testing usually occurs over 3 days. These days can be spread over several weeks depending on your availability. You could expect to be at Intus for up to 3.5 hours on each of these days.