Living a healthy life has become an impossible thing in today’s ecosystem. With the polluted environment, people’s eating habits and diet have also become worse, which is affecting the digestive tract and making them sick with several gastrointestinal disorders. Well, it happens sometimes even when you are taking a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, protein, and minerals. Despite all this, your gut starts reacting badly to some of the meals you have.
This type of condition is generally recognized as the food intolerance. For instance, when a human body is intolerant to a specific sugar, and when you eat a food containing that specific sugar, then your digestive tract doesn’t absorb the sugar and it then passes it to the stomach where it’s malabsorption causes flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and several other symptoms of gut function disorders.
Why Doctors Suggest A Hydrogen Breath Test?
Is it your gut flora behaving abnormal or is it a specific sugar causing the problem? All can be diagnosed by a hydrogen breath test. A healthy human body doesn’t produce hydrogen unless it is from the malabsorption of carbohydrate.
These are the bacteria in the colon, which produce hydrogen when comes into the contact with the unabsorbed carbohydrates. When the digestive tract finds difficulty in absorbing the sugar or carbohydrate in the small intestine, this unabsorbed sugar is passed into the large intestine where bacteria break down the sugar and produce hydrogen, which is absorbed in the blood and reached to the lungs. Humans thus breathe out hydrogen, where it is measured for the diagnosis.
What is the Hydrogen Breath Test?
This test helps in diagnosing the type of malabsorption you have. You can determine the intolerance to any sugar, such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, or sorbitol. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can also be diagnosed through the same test. Bacterial Overgrowth occurs when a huge count of bacteria from the large intestine started moving into the small bowel and causes gut functional disorders, such as bloating, abdominal cramp, etc.
So, if you are facing the symptoms of gut functional disorders, such as bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation, etc., then you need to go for this non-invasive breath test.
Things to Consider Before the Test:
If the doctor has recommended you for the breath test, then he will definitely provide you with guidelines to follow before performing the test.
you should take this seriously and follow the pre-test requirement mentioned in the test kit manual. If you have gone through some medication or some surgery, then it is good to consult with the medical professional before the test.
Mandatory Pre-test Preparations
Here, we are listing a few pre-test preparations below, which are mandatory to consider:
1. Stop taking antibiotic two weeks before the test.
2. Avoid eating the food, containing carbohydrates before two days of the test.
3. Avoid heavy and flavored meal a day before the test.
4. Stop eating and drinking and smoking 12 hours before the test. Fasting before the test is necessary for correct diagnosis.
5. Avoid smoking until the test is completed.
What is the Test Procedure?
In this test, you will have to blow the balloon exhaling your breath into it. After that, a small amount of sugar, such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, or lactulose is given to you for ingestion.
After ingesting this, the breath sample is collected again. This process will be repeated every 15 to 30 minutes. Once the test is completed, the different breath samples are analyzed and examined to interpret the results. If you experience any symptom of gut functional disorder during the test, this is also considered by medical professionals to interpret the test result.
The plus factor of this test is that you can order the test kit home and perform the test yourself for various carbohydrates. However, the test sample can be diagnosed by medical professionals only.
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