A urea breath test can be performed in office to diagnose the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria within the stomach. These bacteria are widespread and are associated with inflammation of the stomach, ulcers of the stomach and stomach cancer. For the breath test, you will be asked to fast for 1 hour prior to testing. The test involves drinking a small amount of fluid and subsequently breathing into two specimen bags. If H. pylori is diagnosed, your doctor can then discuss potential treatment options.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth refers to a condition in which there is an overgrowth of gas-forming bacteria within the small intestine. This condition leads to excessive bloating, gas, abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits. Your doctor can determine if testing is required based on your initial consultation. Based on the results, certain treatments can be prescribed.
Lactose breath testing can confirm the presence of lactose intolerance, the inability to digest the sugar found in milk and milk-containing products. During the testing, you will be given a lactose-containing beverage. Before and after ingestion, you will be asked to breathe into small plastic bags at regularly scheduled intervals. The air you breathe into the bags is tested for the presence of hydrogen gas. In the setting of lactose intolerance, raised hydrogen levels indicated the improper digestion of lactose.
The information provided above is meant to be used as an informative guide for patients. For precise and individualized recommendations, please consult with one of our board certified gastroenterologists to discuss your symptoms.
For additional information or to book an appointment at the Gastroenterology Center of New York, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated team by calling us at 718-210-2960. You can also schedule online or reach out to us via the Contact Us form.