Hydrogen Breath Test


Aug 2017

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The hydrogen breath test is a non-invasive method that is used to assess the level of hydrogen in exhaled air after loading the patient with a substrate (fructose, lactose, sucrose, lactulose, sorbitol). Under the conditions of physiology, these substances are broken down and absorbed in the intestines. The test gives information on food intolerances, hypertrophy of the small intestinal flora and determines the time of intestinal transit. In the case of impaired digestion and absorption, or with excessive growth of the intestinal bacterial flora, these sugars are metabolized by intestinal bacteria with the production of gases: hydrogen and / or methane, which are then transported through the blood to the alveoli. The amount of hydrogen / methane in exhaled air in particles per million (ppm) increases proportionally to the digestive disorders or composition of intestinal flora found, which is illustrated by the hydrogen breath test.


The hydrogen breath test is worth doing in case of gastric ailments: bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation.

It is helpful in diagnosing conditions such as:

  • malabsorption / lactose intolerance (dairy products)
  • malabsorption / fructose intolerance (honey, fruit)
  • digestive disorders / intolerance to sorbitol / xylitol (sweeteners, diabetic and sugar-free products)
  • bacterial hypertrophy of the small intestine, affecting syndromes and diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease / gluten intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal diverticulosis, conditions after gastrointestinal surgery, cirrhosis, chronic exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, chronic dermatoses, chronic muscular pain bone disorders, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorders, including in children (ADHD).


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