HYDROGEN BREATH TEST.

LACTOSE / FRUCTOSE / SORBITOL / LACTULOSE / SIBO.

With the help of breath tests, carbohydrate intolerance or malabsorption can be easily diagnosed in both children and adults. Only the preparation in the weeks and days before the examination has to be noticed.

Breath tests are based on the measurement of the formed hydrogen (and methane in the case of medical evaluation of bacterial overgrowth), which result from the bacterial breakdown of an added sugar in the gastrointestinal tract. Normally, sugar is already metabolized in the small intestine by specific enzymes during digestion. Enzyme deficiencies or problems absorbing sugar into the bloodstream result in undigested sugar compounds in the colon, where they are broken down by bacteria to produce gas. Symptoms such as flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhea are therefore often present. General symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness and nausea are also possible as a result. The symptoms usually appear from 15 minutes to two hours after the food in question has been consumed.

Lactose intolerance: Insufficient activity of the enzyme lactase and therefore no breakdown of lactose in the small intestine into its components glucose and galactose.

Fructose intolerance or malabsorption: reduced function of the GLUT5 transporter causes insufficient absorption of fructose from the small intestine.

Sorbitol intolerance: Sorbitol (sorbitol, glucitol) is a sugar substitute that is obtained from glucose and has about 60% of its sweetening power. It is converted to fructose in the liver and can be utilized independently of insulin. Since sorbitol is not cariogenic, sorbitol is used, for example, as a sweetener for diabetics, in many chewing gums and candy and “light” products. It occurs naturally in a variety of fruits including apples, pears, hawthorns, cherries, plums and apricots.

Lactulose intolerance: Lactulose cannot be used by the body, but is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. As with other carbohydrates, it produces H2, which can be measured in the breath. The time between the oral intake of lactulose and the increase in the H2 concentration in the breath corresponds to the orocoecal transit time.

Overgrowth syndrome, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): Incorrect colonization of the small intestine with bacterial strains that are usually not present there and/or not in the right amounts and therefore disrupt the digestive process. Complaints such as meteorism, foul-smelling or mushy stools, sustained weight loss, or severe fatigue can result. As the disease progresses, the intestines can become exhausted, with insufficient formation of intestinal juices and persistent intestinal sluggishness. Here, in addition to hydrogen, methane (CH4) is also determined in the breathing air, which is formed by bacterial degradation in the event of incorrect colonization of bacteria and can therefore also be measured.

PROCEDURE of the breath test

Please allow for 3 hours for the breath test. During the implementation, please remain under our supervision so that we can be there for you in case of intolerance. At the beginning of the examination, the basic value is determined by exhaling into the test device while you are still on an empty stomach. Then the prepared sugar solution (different sugars depending on the breath test) is drunk. The H2/(CH4) concentration in the exhaled air is then measured at intervals of 10 to 30 minutes. The results are available after two or three hours at the latest. During the test, attention is also paid to possible symptoms caused by the sugar load, such as flatulence, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, but occasionally these only occur later in the afternoon.

Preparations:
Please note the information on preparation. Non-compliance leads to falsified test results.

Appointments required:
Mo-Fr 7 am – 4 pm
please use E: info1090@ihrlabor.at
or call T: +43 1 408 31 31

Beginning and duration of test:
Beginning of test: Mo-Fr 8 am – 12 am
Duration of test: up to 3 hours

Costs:
EUR 55,-

Payment options:

  • Cash
  • Debit card
  • Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, V-Pay)

A hydrogen breath test is an easy way of diagnosing lactose or fructose intolerance in adults and children. The test, which aims to establish whether there is lactose or fructose intolerance, is easy to carry out and causes no detriment to the patient. However, he/she must prepare him-/herself thoroughly in the weeks and days before the test.

The principle underlying hydrogen breath tests

The hydrogen breath test is based on a measurement of the hydrogen given off by the bacterial decomposition of sugar in the digestive tract.

Normally, sugars (such as lactose or fructose) are metabolised in the small intestine by certain enzymes. Food intolerances are caused by these enzymes not working properly:

Lactose intolerance: insufficient activity of the enzyme lactase; lactose is therefore not broken down into its constituent parts glucose and galactose in the small intestine

Fructose intolerance /-malabsorption: reduced function of the GLUT5-transporter causes insufficient absorption of fructose from the small intestine

Procedure for a hydrogen breath test

At the start of the test, the base value of the patient’s breath is tested (the patient must be fasting). The patient blows into a small, hand-held device similar to the breathalisers used by police to test for alcohol. The device shows the concentration of hydrogen in the breath.

The patient then drinks a glass of water which has 50g lactose or 25g of fructose dissolved in it, depending on the test being done. The concentration of hydrogen in the breath is measured in intervals of 30 minutes. The results are available after two, but at the latest three hours.

During the test, the doctor also looks for signs of other sugar-related complaints such as bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. However, these frequently only occur later in the afternoon.

Appointments required:
Mo-Fr 7 am – 4 pm
please use E: termin1090@ihrlabor.at
or call T: +43 1 408 31 31

Beginning and duration of test:
Beginning of test: Mo-Fr 7:30 am-8 am
Duration of test: up to 3 hours
Please note the instructions for preparation.

Costs:
EUR 40 per test
The costs are general reimbursed under private insurance.

Payment options:

  • Cash
  • Debit card
  • Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, V-Pay)

Preparation:
Please note the instructions for preparation. Failure to follow these instructions can result in inaccurate test results.