If you are experiencing any digestive issue only after consuming dairy products, you are lactose intolerant. To be certain about you being lactose intolerance, you might want to undergo testing for lactose intolerance and prepare for it beforehand to ensure that everything goes smooth while testing and you get a truthful result.
What Is Lactose Intolerance Test?
Lactose intolerance refers to insufficient lactase production in your body – an enzyme that breaks down or digests dairy sugar called lactose. Lactose intolerance tests are easy, convenient, and noninvasive tests that help your doctor diagnose lactose intolerance.
Hydrogen Breath Test
The hydrogen breath test is based on the principle that when you can’t digest lactose, the level of hydrogen in your breath increases due to the fermentation of undigested lactose by bacteria.
The hydrogen breath test is the most commonly performed lactose-intolerance test, in which you will be given lactose-containing liquid. Then your doctor will measure the amount of hydrogen in your breath at different intervals. Your gastroenterologist will get you a breath sample before and after consuming lactose-rich liquid and compare the result to make a diagnosis.
How Can I Prepare for Lactose Intolerance Test?
You need to start preparing before the lactose intolerance test. Avoid undergoing bowel prep (which is usually done for colonoscopy, barium enema, etc.) before the test because bowel prep will cleanse the bacteria of the bowel. If bowel prep is necessary, make sure there is a four-week gap between bowel prep and breath test to allow the gut bacteria to re-establish.
- Four Weeks Before Your Test: Avoid taking Pepto Bismol® or antibiotics, and don’t undergo any test requiring bowel prep or cleansing.
- 24 Hours Before Your Test: Avoid smoking and going to places where people smoke the day before the test and on test day. Smoke can affect your test results.
- On The Day of Your Test: Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Do not chew gum or use mouthwash; instead, use a small amount of water for brushing your teeth.
- Eight Hour Before Your Test: Fast eight hours before the test, which means do not drink or eat anything, including water.
You can also keep a food log containing all the food and beverages that cause digestive discomfort. During an appointment, you can share this log with your doctor, who will evaluate your entries and determine if your digestive symptoms are related to lactose intolerance. This food log will help your doctor determine the type of testing you should have.
Lactose Intolerance Test in Westlake and Brooklyn, Ohio
If you think you are a candidate for a lactose intolerance test, visit us at North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers for a breath test. Our board-certified gastroenterologists would quickly perform the test, diagnose your lactose intolerance, and recommend the best treatment option. Our gastroenterologists are highly experienced and skilled at performing tests and finding a solution for your digestive problem.
If you desire to know more about your breath test, schedule an appointment with one of our skilled gastroenterologists by calling today at (440) 808-1212 or filling out our convenient online appointment form.
We look forward to keeping your gut healthy!