A breath test is a procedure used to diagnose certain gastrointestinal conditions as well as to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating the conditions.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can lead to infection. Symptoms include abdominal pain, sores/ulcers, nausea and unexplained weight loss as well as inflammation of the stomach lining.
To test for the presence of this stomach bacterium, a urea breath test will be performed. During the procedure, the patient will ingest a capsule or a drink containing urea and be asked to breathe into a mouthpiece. The breath will then be collected and analyzed for the presence of isotopic carbon, indicating the presence of H. pylori.
Lactose intolerance results from the body lacking an enzyme required to digest lactose. Symptoms of this condition include cramping, bloating, gas or diarrhea.
The physician will first ask the patient to consume a liquid that contains lactose. The patient will then breathe into a mouthpiece attached to an airtight tube. The breath will subsequently collect in the tube and the tube will be analyzed for hydrogen and methane, indicators that the patient is lactose intolerant.
To learn more about breath tests or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact us today.