Hydrogen Breath Test


Hydrogen Breath Test

Gastroenterology Associates offers some of the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions which includes Hydrogen Breath Testing.  One of the first gastroenterology groups in Los Angeles to offer this advanced testing, we have found amazing results that are extremely helpful in diagnosing patients with vague and unexplained symptoms; some that have been experienced for years.  The various breath tests we offer are described below: 

Lactulose Breath Test

All humans carry some bacteria in intestine. Sometimes the population of these bacteria is more than normal (small intestine bacterial overgrowth-SIBO) so it gives patients various symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, or constipation.

The bacteria in the small bowel ferments carbohydrates and produces gases, which can explain feeling bloated.

A simple breath test can help to diagnose SIBO. A patient needs to follow a few rules before the test (please click here to see the preparation form):

  • No antibiotics and/or probiotics 14 days before the test. Patients can take other medications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure medications.
  • No acid suppression medication (Dexilant, Omeprazole…) 1 day before test
  • Fasting for 12 hours before test. Brushing teeth the morning of the test is allowed.
  • No colonoscopy 30 days before test
  • Diet for the 12 hours before fasting: No fruits and fruit juices, vegetables, grain products, dairy products, artificial sweeteners and sugar, nuts and seeds, soy products, margarine and red meat.
  • It is better only have these for last 12 hours before fasting: baked poultry or fish, plain steamed rice, broth and boil eggs
  • No smoking the last 24 hours before test
  • No vigorous exercise or sleep one hour before test

The day of the test, patients come in fasting condition. First, there will be a blowing in a bag and then patients are offered to drink a solution. Each 10 minutes for 2 hours, patients have to blow in an empty bag. This test takes about 2 hours. Patients can bring a book or magazine to read. The result will be discussed with the patient in 2 weeks.


Urease Breath Test

The human stomach is naturally free of any bacteria or germs due to a highly acidic environment, but Helicobacter pylori is one of the strong bacteria that can live in the stomach. H. pylori can cause symptoms such as epigastric pain or upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, frequent belching, and weight loss. If it is not treated, multiple adverse events can occur such as peptic ulcer, gastritis and lead to a predisposition for stomach cancer. Due to the risk of this type of infection if left untreated, it is important to treat the condition promptly.

H. Pylori can be transmitted through direct contact with saliva, vomit or fecal matter of a patient or it can be transmitted through infected food or water. If somebody at home has a H. pylori infection, there is an increased chance that other members can contract the bacteria.

One of the best ways to diagnose H. Pylori infection is with a breath test. It is simple, noninvasive and fast with a higher accuracy than a stool or blood test.

Patient needs to follow some rules before the test (please click here to see the preparation form):

  • No antacid pills (Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid OTC, Protonix…)
  • No H2 blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Axid…)
  • No bismuth preparation (pepto-bismul, Maalox total relief…)
  • Fast for one hour before test


After coming to the office in fasting condition (for one hour before test), the patient will be asked to blow in an empty bag. Then, a special solution will be offered to drink. 10 minutes after drinking the solution, the patient has to blow in an empty bag again. The air in the bag will be analyzed.

Lactose Intolerance Breath Test

If a patient has diarrhea that occurs frequently after consuming milk or milk products, there is possibility of lactose intolerance. It means the body does not have the proper enzyme to digest the sugar component of milk. Gastroenterology Associates helps to confirm if lactose intolerance is the culprit of the diarrhea with a Lactose Intolerance Breath Test.

The procedure is very simple:

After drinking a lactose containing beverages, patient will blow into the paper bag. The milk sugar is supposed to be digested by the body. If not, the bacteria in the small intestine will be fermented and produce hydrogen gas. It will be shown as a positive result in the patient’s breath test.

Fructose Intolerance Breath Test

Patients with frequent bloating, cramping and diarrhea after taking food containing fructose (a form of sugar) may be fructose Intolerant.  In order to confirm this diagnosis, Gastroenterology Associates has the ability to perform a Fructose Intolerance Breath Test while you are here in our office.

This test will confirm the patient’s inability to digest “Fructose,” which is the sugar found in onions, artichokes, pears and wheat. It also can be found in many drinks.

The procedure is very simple:

At the beginning of the test, the patient has to blow into a bag and then the patient will have a glass of a fructose containing beverage. The patient will have to wait for one hour and blow into the paper bag once again. This procedure has to be repeated additional two times. The entire test takes about 3 hours.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.


Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
8631 W. 3rd Street, Suite 815E
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-858-2224
Fax: 310-858-2225

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