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patient education : 03021--Hydrogen Breath Test

Information for patients having a procedure to measure the amount of hydrogen and methane gas in their breath.

Handout File:

PDF document icon PE03021 HydrogenBreathTest.pdf — PDF document, 35 KB (36749 bytes)
  1. document content:

    HYDROGEN BREATH TEST INSTRUCTIONS

    WHY DO I NEED THIS TEST?

    A hydrogen breath test is used to detect abnormal growth of bacteria within the small bowel (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – SIBO).  It also provides information about the digestion of certain sugars or carbohydrates, such as milk (lactose) or fruit sugar (fructose) and fructans. 

    HOW TO DO I GET READY?

    • For 4 (four) weeks before your test, you should not take any antibiotics
    • For 5 days before the test do not take any probiotics
    • For 1 (one) week before your test do not take any laxatives or stool softeners (Colace®, senna, milk of magnesia, Ex-Lax®, Miralax®, Linzess®, Amitiza®, domperidone)
    • Two days before your test do not take nausea medicine like:   Zofran®  or Reglan®. Do not take diarrhea medicines like Lomotil® or Immodium®
    • You may use enemas or suppositories until 3 (three) days before your test

    The Day Before Your Test:

    24 hours before your test you will begin your prep diet.  For example, if your test is at 9:00 a.m., you would begin the diet at 9:00 a.m. the day before.

    You may consume ONLY the following foods and drinks: 

    • plain white bread, plain white rice, plain white potatoes, baked or broiled chicken, fish, or shrimp, boiled eggs, plain water, and non-flavored black coffee or unsweetened tea.
    • ONLY salt may be used to flavor your food.
    • You may NOT use any sugar, creamers, or sweeteners. 
    • You may NOT use any other seasonings or spices.
    • Butter, oils, margarine, or cooking sprays are NOT permitted. 
    • Probiotic yogurts such as Danactive® or Activia® are not permitted.
    • Pop/cola/soda drinks, Kool-Aid, sports drinks, juice are NOT permitted.
    • Vegetables and Fruits are NOT permitted. 
    • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING ELSE—IT COULD RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION OF YOUR TEST.

    For 12 hours Before Your Test:

    • You must stop eating and drinking 12 hours before the test.  For example, if your test is at 9:00 a.m., you would stop eating and drinking at 9:00 p.m. the night before.
    • Take your usual prescription medicines with water until 12 hours before the test.

    The Day of Your Test:

    • The test will take 2 to 3 hours to complete.
    • Take no medications the morning of your test EXCEPT blood pressure, heart, and seizure medications.  Please bring a list of all medications to your appointment.
    • Two hours before the test, brush your teeth.
    • DO NOT EAT, DRINK, CHEW GUM OR TOBACCO, SMOKE CIGARETTES, EAT BREATH MINTS OR CANDY BEFORE OR DURING THE DAY OF YOUR TEST. 
    • DO NOT SLEEP OR EXERCISE DURING THE TEST.
    • You MUST follow the prep diet the day before EACH breath test.

     

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