Breath Testing

A breath test is a non-invasive and safe test used to investigate and diagnose intestinal conditions such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), as well as lactose and fructose intolerance.

Bacteria that live in the small intestine produce gases called hydrogen and methane when they digest sugar.  These gases then travel from the small intestine to the lungs where they are released.

A breath test works by measuring the amount of hydrogen and methane you breathe out over a period of up to three hours after drinking a mixture of lactulose or glucose (a non-digestible sugar) and water.  A rapid rise in exhaled hydrogen or methane may mean there is bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO):

SIBO is an imbalance of the microorganisms in your gut that maintain healthy digestion. When too many bacteria, or the wrong kind, populate the small intestine, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as gas and diarrhoea. It can also inhibit your ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food.

Food Intolerance Testing:

Lactose, fructose, sucrose and sorbitol tests check for intolerance to those particular sugars. These are all sugars that, for different reasons, can be hard for some people to digest. You’ll only be tested for one at a time. If the breath test results in high levels of hydrogen, it means that sugar wasn’t well digested in your intestines.