Performing a Sucrose Hydrogen Breath Test
A Sucrose Hydrogen Breath Test (HBT) is a test that is easy to do at home and can provide valuable information on what is going on in your digestive system. It is non-invasive, which means that you don’t need to give blood or a tissue sample.
If you are suffering from unexplained and persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain and/or a lot of gas, a gastroenterologist (a physician specializing in disorders of the digestive system) may order a Sucrose HBT. The reason is that the doctor wants to see how your gut is working. This test can aid in the diagnosis of Genetic Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (GSID). GSID, sometimes called sucrose intolerance, is a condition in which the proteins needed to break down sucrose, or table sugar, into usable energy for your cells is not working properly. NOTE: As a result of taking this test, you may have similar symptoms to what you have experienced in the past since you will be drinking a large amount of sucrose solution during the test.
The Sucrose HBT typically lasts about three hours. You blow into glass tubes through a straw which is designed to capture your breath. First, you blow into a tube to capture what your normal breath levels are. Next, you mix a predetermined amount of sucrose (sugar) with water and drink it. The sucrose will be digested over the next several hours. You will be instructed to blow into tubes to capture your breath at specific time points to see what is happening inside your digestive system.
There are some important things to keep in mind before taking a Sucrose HBT. The breath test company will provide detailed instructions to help you and may have telephone support. Although each company’s test varies, there are some common rules that you need to know.
- Stop taking probiotics for at least four to five days before taking the test. You may be managing your stomach issues with probiotics, but probiotics will affect the results.
- Stop taking antibiotics.
- There is a special diet that needs to be closely followed between 12 and 24 hours before the test. The breath test company will usually tell you to avoid any food that that can aggravate your gut, such as sugars and starches. These foods may affect the test and can give inaccurate results.
- 12 hours before you take the test, you cannot eat or drink anything except water.
- Before the start of the test, brush your teeth since the bacteria in your mouth can affect the test. Use only a sugar-free toothpaste since sugar may affect the test results.
- Do no smoke, sleep or exercise 1 hour before the test or at any time during the test. These activities can affect the test results.
How your body responds to sucrose can help your doctor figure out what could be the reason for your stomach issues. #💩