Hydrogen Breath Test

Hydrogen Breath Test in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore

The hydrogen breath test determines whether someone has an intolerance to sugars or an overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria (SIBO).

After consuming a sugar solution, the test will be performed on you to determine how much hydrogen is present in your breath. Hydrogen usually doesn't appear in your breath very often, and a higher level usually indicates that your small intestines are overdeveloped or that you have a sugar tolerance problem.

Why is the procedure performed?

It is possible to measure the hydrogen levels in your breath to diagnose various digestive conditions. Your healthcare provider usually recommends the hydrogen breath test to confirm or exclude one of two conditions,

  • It is also called carbohydrate malabsorption when an individual is intolerant to a particular sugar, such as lactose, fructose, sucrose, or sorbitol. The most common type of intolerance is lactose intolerance.

  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (SIBO) -occurs when colonies of bacteria from your colon migrate into your small intestine.

Both of these conditions must be considered possible contributors to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diagnosis.

How does it work?

When you experience gas due to indigestion, that causes bloating in the stomach, moves painfully through the digestive system, and then passes through the stomach. This gas most likely contains hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen is only produced in the body when anaerobic gut bacteria digest sugars and carbohydrates, and the process is known as fermentation. To know more, visit our gastroenterology hospital in Yeshwanthpur.

The bacteria in this group are usually found in the colon, where they play an essential role in digestion. The digestive system predigests sugars and carbohydrates before they are absorbed into your colon. After they have been partially digested, anaerobic bacteria will break them down, converting them into gas.

The gas in the colon is absorbed by the blood and transported to the lungs, where it is expelled while breathing. That is how your breath can reveal what is going on in your stomach. You can take a hydrogen breath test after consuming certain sugars to determine how much hydrogen your breath contains. You can learn about your digestive health from your healthcare provider by knowing how much hydrogen you produce and how fast it is made in your body.


To take a breathalyser sample, you'll breathe into an inflatable bag with a tube attached, which resembles an inflatable bag. You will then be asked to consume a sugar solution. After consuming the sugar solution, breath samples will be collected at 15- to 30-minute intervals for the next few hours. You should limit your physical activity in the days leading up to the test. If you experience abdominal pain, bloating, farting, or other digestive symptoms after taking the test sugar, you may also be asked to record those. Book an appointment today at our multi-specialty hospital in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore.

What do the Hydrogen Breath Test results mean?

Measurement of hydrogen concentration is done in parts per million (PPM). An average digestive system contains less than 16 parts per million of hydrogen. If the breath test results indicate high levels of hydrogen, it means that sugar was not properly digested in your intestines which indicates gastrointestinal conditions.

A rise of more than 20 ppm over the baseline is considered a positive test result when the hydrogen breath test is used to detect carbohydrate malabsorption. Since hydrogen is fermented in your small intestine rather than your colon, the rise in hydrogen by 20 ppm above the baseline must occur within 90 minutes for SIBO testing.

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