Skip to main content

Breath Test

Park Gastroenterology

Valli P. Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF

Gastroenterologist located in Cary, NC

If you suffer from gastrointestinal upset brought on by gas, bloating, diarrhea, or cramping, a simple breath test can help find out what’s causing it. At Park Gastroenterology in Cary, North Carolina, board-certified gastroenterologist Valli Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, and his expert team offer various breath tests to diagnose your condition and develop an effective treatment. Call the office today or book an appointment online.

Breath Test Q & A

What is a breath test?

A breath test is a noninvasive, diagnostic test Dr. Kodali uses to determine if you have a disease that affects your intestinal tract. A breath test captures your breath and analyzes it to check for gastrointestinal problems linked with unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

What are breath tests used for?

Dr. Kodali will recommend a breath test to measure the amount of specific gases you exhale and diagnose some of the following conditions:

  • H. pylori (the bacteria that causes ulcers)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Fructose intolerance
  • Bacterial overgrowth syndrome

This kind of test helps him diagnose these or other GI issues accurately and quickly.

How do breath tests work?

Your body produces hydrogen and methane gas from intestinal bacteria, often present in your large intestine, to ferment carbohydrates during digestion. A breath test includes substances you ingest and a breathalyzer that detects bacteria in your stomach and small intestine. It assesses the gases you exhale during normal breathing.

How should I prepare for a breath test?

Follow all of your provider’s instructions before taking a breath test at Park Gastroenterology. The day before your test, Dr. Kodali will have you follow a diet low in starches and sugars. Don’t take antibiotics or probiotics if he recommends it, and avoid laxatives.

What kinds of breath tests are there?

Common breath tests available at park Gastroenterology include:

Lactose intolerance breath tests

Lactose intolerance breath tests assess how well your body absorbs lactose, a sugar found in many dairy foods. You first drink a lactose-heavy drink. High levels of hydrogen in your breath indicate you don’t digest lactose well.

H. Pylori breath tests

  1. Pylori breath tests evaluate levels of H. pylori bacteria that cause inflammation in your stomach and small intestine. High H. pylori levels are linked with gastric cancer, peptic ulcers, and other gastrointestinal conditions. After consuming a special drink, you breathe into a nasal tube attached to a breathalyzer.

Fructose intolerance breath test

Fructose intolerance breath tests determine if your body has problems absorbing fructose, a natural sugar found in fruits, some vegetables, and wheat. It’s also used as a drink sweetener.

When fructose isn’t absorbed correctly, it can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping. Before the test, you drink fructose dissolved in water. Your provider analyzes your breath for hydrogen.

Bacteria overgrowth syndrome (SIBO) breath test

Breath tests for SIBO assess bacteria overgrowth in your small intestine, which can cause diarrhea, bloating, gas, and cramping. Your specialist analyzes gases in your breath after you drink a sugar solution and breathe into a breathalyzer.

Call Park Gastroenterology today or go online to schedule a breath test.