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Abdominal pain? Bloatedness? Suspicion of intolerance or disorderly digestion of sugars? Suspected irritable bowel syndrome and hypertrophy of the bacterial flora of the small intestine? Maybe it’s time to do a simple and easy Hydrogen Breath Test – the right diagnosis will certainly make your treatment easier.

The Hydrogen Breath Test is a test that is performed on the following problems:

a. Lactose intolerance
b. Fructose intolerance
c. Intolerance of other sugars (sorbitol, xylitol)
d. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) in the course of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This test detects the concentration of hydrogen in the air the patient breathes out, which is formed by fermentation (in case of digestive disorders) in the small and large intestine. The test is recommended for people who suffer from ailments such as flatulence, feeling of excessive amount of gases in the abdominal cavity with periodical abdominal pain – especially if the patient notices a correlation between the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates and the severity of the ailments. Additionally, in case of suspicion of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, if the doctor suspects excessive growth of bacterial flora – it is also possible to perform such a test. It is believed that the above symptoms lasting more than 3 months of variable intensity are an indication for this type of examination. NOTE – however, it is not the case that one test will detect all intolerances and SIBO. Each test detects one intolerance depending on which “marker” is used in the test.

The patient takes a breath – stops the air for about 15 seconds and then exhales into a special tube. The examination is performed at the beginning and then the patient consumes appropriate sugar – lactose, glucose, fructose or lactulose (in case of SIBO evaluation). Subsequently, inhalation air samples are taken up to 3 hours after drinking the fluid to evaluate the hydrogen concentration.

Four Weeks Prior to Test:

  • Make sure that antibiotics have not been taken within the four weeks before test,
  • Having a colonoscopy within four weeks before taking the test can cause contraindications,
  • Having a fluoroscopy within four weeks before taking the test can cause contraindications.

Ileostomy (except hypertrophic diagnosis bacterial)

One Week Prior to Test

  • No stool hardeners or softeners,
  • No vitamins or supplements containingfructose flavourings or lactose fillers,
  • No fibre supplements, Imodium or Pepto Bismol,
  • Avoid pre and probiotics,
  • Avoid proton pump inhibitors and hydrogen blockers.

IMPORTANT! YOU SHOULD KEEP A GAP OF 7 DAYS BETWEEN BREATH TESTS

Three days before the examination.

For up to three* days prior to the test the following diet shows foods that need to be avoided and a suggested diet to be undertaken for the time before the fast. If you are unsure whether a food should be avoided or not, it is best to avoid it anyway to be sure that it does not interfere with the test results.

No products allowed:

  • grains and cereals (bread),
  • milk and dairy products,
  • fruit and fruit preserves,
  • vegetables,
  • marinated or pickled vegetables,
  • nuts, seeds and legumes,
  • all products containing corn syrup and high fructose content, sugar-free products, ketchup, honey, mustard, etc.

Suggested foods:

  • baked or grilled chicken, turkey or fish with low amounts of salt for flavouring only,
  • plain steamed white rice,
  • eggs,
  • water,
  • tofu,
  • rice quinoa,
  • meat (without processed products, e.g. kabanos, ham PROHIBITED).

Patients will be fasting for a minimum of 12 hours prior to the test. Nothing should be consumed apart from water. Take no medications on the morning of your test, but take all prescriptions medicines to your morning appointment.

Side note: If you are a diabetic, taking prescribed medications or suffer from any condition that may be affected by the suggested diet or fasting, please consult with your physician about how to proceed.

12 hours before the examination

Patients will be fasting for a minimum of 12 hours prior to the test. Nothing should be consumed apart from water. Take no medications on the morning of your test, but take all prescriptions medicines to your morning appointment.

Side note: If you are a diabetic, taking prescribed medications or suffer from any condition that may be affected by the suggested diet or fasting, please consult with your physician about how to proceed.

On the day of the test

  • Do not take any medication,
  • No smoking,
  • No chewing candy,
  • No exercise,
  • No denture adhesive • Please leave sufficient time for your appointment,
  • Your test may last for up to three hours,
  • You can bring reading material to occupy yourself during the test,
  • Two hours before the test you can brush your teeth,
  • You may drink 1 glass of still water 1 hour before the test. DO NOT DRINK DURING THE TEST.

Contraindications to the Test:

Known or suspected hereditary fructose intolerance (contraindication for the fructose tolerance test and sorbitol tolerance test) and known or suspected (alimentary) hypoglycemia.

Type of testIndicative duration of the test
Test for fructose tolerance2h - 2,5h
Test for lactose tolerance2h - 2,5h
Test for sorbitol tolerance2h - 2,5h
Test for xylitol tolerance2h - 2,5h
Test for glucose tolerance1h – 2 h
Test for lactulose tolerance3h - 3,45 h

DO NOT SMOKE CIGARETTES FOR 24 HOURS BEFORE THE EXAMINATION!!!

KINDLY, THE RESULT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE INTERPRETATION OR CONSULTATION OF A DOCTOR.

We kindly inform you:

  • for arriving at least 5-10 minutes before the agreed time,
  • for possible cancellation of the test at the latest on the day before the test date,
  • to provide information during registration which test will be performed.

Presence or suspected hereditary fructose intolerance (contraindication for fructose tolerance test, sorbitol tolerance test) and presumed or suspected (auxiliary) hypoglycaemia.

The result is ready to be picked up the next day after the test in the working hours of the clinic. Go to a doctor with the result.

The HBT costs PLN 170.