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Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 8am to 5pm
  Contact : (03) 9318 3399

Hydrogen Breath Test

What is Hydrogen Breath Test?

The hydrogen breath test is a test that uses the measurement of hydrogen in the breath to diagnose several conditions that cause gastrointestinal system. The bacteria produce hydrogen when they are exposed to unabsorbed food, particularly sugars and carbohydrates but not proteins or fats.

Our centre manipulates the hydrogen breath test to diagnose problems with the digestion of sugars such as fructose and lactose.

Why have a hydrogen breath test?

A hydrogen breath test may be advised if you have symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating and distention
  • Flatulence (passing gas in large amounts)
  • Diarrhoea

How do I prepare for Hydrogen breath test?

A proper patient preparation is very important for the procedure to be successful and safe. If you have made an appointment with us for hydrogen breath tesst, you will need to follow the prescribed preparation instructions link below.


How is hydrogen breath test performed?

At the start of the test, you will be instructed to blow into a tube which connected to a portable hydrogen breath test device with a breath of air to measure the baseline of hydrogen concentration.

You will then be asked to drink a glass of diluted sugars (fructose or lactose: depending on the purpose of the test).

After 2 minutes from drinking the diluted sugar, you will be instructed to blow into a tube again that connected to a portable hydrogen breath test device with a breath of air to measure the first reading of hydrogen concentration.

Additional samples of breath are collected and analysed for hydrogen every 15 minutes for up to two hours.

The test may be completed sooner than two hours depending on the reading of your hydrogen concentration.

What happens after capsule endoscopy?

The information from the hydrogen breath test device is recorded and will be examined by the doctor. The report will be available to your referring doctor after a week. A follow up appointment with your GP or specialist should be made to discuss the results and allow further treatment.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Hydrogen breath test is a very safe and simple procedure. Complications are very extremely rare.

The side effects of hydrogen breath testing are exactly what one would expect to see in individuals who poorly digest and absorb the tested sugars (Fructose or Lactose). You may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Distention
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • diarrhea

We aim to provide the best quality healthcare. Our quality policies and procedures are in place to minimise the possible risks. The link below will provide you the information of the possible uncommon risks. UNCOMMON RISKS OF ENDOSCOPIC PROCEDURE