The process of digestion produces a variety of gases within the body. Those gases are absorbed into the bloodstream and are passed through the lungs as part of the body’s normal circulation. Certain gases are detectable when the body exhales, and these gasses can be used to diagnose some digestive conditions and failures.

Breath tests offered at Carolina Digestive Health Associates are as follows:

Fructose Malabsorption Breath Test

Fructose is normally broken down in the small intestine. If the sugar reaches the large intestine while still intact, the bacteria of the colon produce large amounts of gas that can be detected in a breath test.

The inability to absorb the sugar fructose can result in diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain. During the Fructose Malabsorption Breath Test, the amount of hydrogen and methane produced, after drinking a dedicated solution provided by your provider, will give an indication of whether or not your body is properly digesting the sugar.

You will be given specific instructions to follow prior to the test. In order to achieve the most accurate results, it is important to follow these instructions carefully.

Lactose Intolerance Breath Test

Lactose, like the sugar fructose, is broken down in the small intestine. If the lactose reaches the colon intact, the colonic bacteria produce large amounts of gases that are detectable in a breath test.

The inability to digest lactose is normally referred to as Lactose Intolerance. The symptoms of this intolerance are diarrhea, gas and bloating, and abdominal pain. During the Lactose Intolerance Breath Test, the amount of hydrogen and methane produced, after drinking a dedicated solution provided by your provider, will give an indication of whether or not your body is properly digesting the sugar.

You will be given specific instructions to follow prior to the test. In order to achieve the most accurate results, it is important to follow these instructions carefully.

H. pylori Breath Test

The H. pylori bacteria is associated with the development of peptic ulcers and some gastric cancers. The Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) bacteria can be found in the lining of the stomach or the upper section of the small intestine (the duodenum).

During this breath test, you will be given a solution to drink by your provider. If H. pylori is present, carbon dioxide will be detected in the gases released by the lungs. In order to achieve the most accurate results, it is important to follow the provided instructions carefully. There are serious consequences to a H. pylori infection. If this is diagnosed, then your provider will outline a treatment plan.

Bacterial Overgrowth Test (BOG)

Uncontrolled growth of bacteria found in the small intestine can lead to the development of SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome. Symptoms of SIBO include excessive bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. As a byproduct of the fermentation of carbohydrates within the small intestine, the bacteria produces hydrogen and methane gases.

During the breath test, you will be given a solution to drink by your provider. Increased levels of hydrogen and methane will be detected in the gases released by the lungs. In order to achieve the most accurate results, it is important to follow the provided instructions carefully.