Gastrolab Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing

Hydrogen and methane breath testing is a useful diagnostic tool for assessing patients with suspected Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other Functional Gut Disorders. The testing identifies those who have sugar malabsorption conditions, such as lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption, which present a range of symptoms commonly referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The test can be used to analyse FODMAP malabsorption and to determine appropriate dietary interventions.

Who it is for?

Health practitioners and clinicians can use Hydrogen and Methane breath testing to identify patients with suspected IBS and other Functional Gut Disorders.

Patients with IBS, IBD or other functional gut disorders are effected by the malabsorption of dietary sugar, which results in fermentation of the sugar. The fermentation process produces gas and causes other symptoms including:

  • Pain
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Changed bowel habits
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Urgent bowel movements

Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing – Analysing FODMAP Malabsorption

Clinicians can take advantage of the pain free and non-invasive Hydrogen and Methane Breath Test to diagnose the following gut disorders:

  • Lactose intolerance (lactase deficiency) analysed via a Lactose Breath Test
  • Fructose malabsorption analysed via a Fructose Breath Test
  • Small bowel/intestinal bacterial overgrowth analysed via a Glucose Breath test
  • Hydrogen production and intestinal transit time analysed via a Lactulose Breath test
  • Sucrose malabsorption (sucrase-isomaltase deficiency) analysed via a Sucrose Breath test
  • Sorbitol malabsorption analysed via a Sorbitol Breath test
  • Mannitol malabsorption analysed via a Mannitol Breath test

How it works

  • Patients receive an oral sugar solution and breath sampling is then carried out at intervals
  • Anaerobic bacteria in the intestine produce the hydrogen and methane from malabsorbed carbohydrate
  • Fermentation of FODMAPs (sugars) in the gut generates hydrogen and methane which can be detected on the patient's breath which makes the testing highly specific for this particular condition
  • Testing is non-invasive and can be carried out safely on pregnant women, diabetics and children

Find out more about FODMAPs and Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing