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What is the Hydrogen Breath Test

Hydrogen Breath Tests (or HBT) are used as a means for clinicians to assess people various digestive disorders to see if they can help narrow down what may be causing the digestive issues such as, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and/or common food intolerances. The test is simple, non-invasive, and is performed after a short period of fasting (typically 12 hours).  The test itself does not diagnose, that is left up to interpretation by a medical professional.

When testing for conditions like Lactose Intolerance, Fructose Intolerance and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).  Studies have demonstrated the importance of Hydrogen (H2) and Methane (CH4) production, indicating more than 30% of healthy adult subjects produce Methane in addition to or instead of Hydrogen increasing the ability for medical professionals to review the most comprehensive results to best aid them in their decision of how to best relieve patients gastrointestinal disorders/symptoms.

Below are the types of breath-tests you can order online here.


Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): Like the name suggests, SIBO is where bacteria enter your normally sterile small intestine and begin to colonize.  Studies have indicated that potentially up to 80% of patients with IBS may in fact have SIBO which a Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test can easily and non-invasively help determine by ordering here.  Treatment of SIBO can be done with a short course of antibiotics provided by your medical professional.

Common symptoms and reasons to test for SIBO: nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, malnutrition, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Rosacea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Fibromyalgia, Gastroeseophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Celiac Disease & Diverticulitis.

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Lactose Intolerance (Lactose Malabsorption): Lactose intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of an enzyme called lactase.  Lactase breaks apart lactose into Glucose and Galactose which can then be absorbed in your digestive system.  When you lack this enzyme, the body cannot break down the lactose allowing it to make it to the stomach where bacteria flora break it down causing symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhea and nausea. 

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Fructose Intolerance (Fructose Malabsorption): Fructose is a simple monosaccharide which your digestive system can absorb without the need of additional digestive enzymes (like lactase is produced to breakdown lactose).  When your digestive system is unable to absorb fructose before it reaches the large intestine, symptoms like bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas (flatulence) may occur.

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Sucrose Intolerance (Sucrose Malabsorption):

Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. It is called cane sugar (or in some areas, beet sugar), reflecting the world-wide commercial source of the sugar. It is hydrolyzed by the enzyme sucrase, an a-glucosidehydrolase which is naturally occurring in the small intestine.

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