Urea and Hydrogen Breath Tests

Urea and hydrogen breath tests are two types of breath tests offered at AG offices.

Hydrogen Breath Test

Austin Gastroenterology utilizes the HBT Sleuth test for detecting lactose intolerance (inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk), bacterial overgrowth (a condition in which the normal flora of the intestine is altered; affects absorption of nutrients), glucose intolerance and fructose intolerance. The testing is performed at the physician's office.

The patient will ingest one of the following: milk, soda (not diet), sugar water or lactulose (depending what condition your physician suspects). The office staff will measure the amount of hydrogen exhaled in the patient's breath using the HBT Sleuth machine.

Patients should avoid slowly digesting foods like beans, bran or other high fiber substances the day before testing. The patient will be asked to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure, with only water to drink. The patient should not smoke, sleep or exercise vigorously for at least ½ hour before, or at any time during testing. Antibiotic use/therapy may interfere with test results. Please make sure the office staff is aware of any recent antibiotic use.

Urea Breath Test

The Urea Breath Test, or UBT, is a simple breath test that detects the presence of Helicobacter Pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach. H. Pylori has been found to cause peptic ulcers in some patients, while others show the presence of h. pylori with no symptoms at all. The test takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed in the AG physician offices. A baseline breath sample is obtained, the patient then drinks 4oz of solution (Pranactin –Citric) and another breath sample is obtained 15 minutes later. Results are available in 2 to 3 days.

For further information, to schedule an appointment, or obtain pre-test instructions and a complete list of medications to avoid, please call your AG physician's office.