Breath tests allow an accurate, rapid diagnosis of common sources of digestive distress while offering a patient-friendly alternative to more invasive diagnostic methods.
1) The first is a condition in which dietary sugars are not digested normally. The most common sugar that is poorly digested is lactose, the sugar in milk. Individuals who are unable to properly digest lactose are referred to as lactose intolerant. Testing also may be used to diagnose problems with the digestion of other sugars such as sucrose and fructose.
2) The second condition for which breath testing is used is for diagnosing bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel, a condition in which larger-than-normal numbers of colonic bacteria are present in the small intestine.
Either of these conditions may cause abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and distention, flatulence (passing gas in large amounts), and diarrhea.