Breath tests: Species and application

When which breath test?

In the following table you will find an overview of which questions which breath tests are used. Not all examinations are paid by the statutory health insurance - talk to your doctor.

13C-breath tests

Above all, malfunctions in the area of ​​the stomach can be identified; for therapy control of infections with Helicobacter pylori (the first diagnosis is made by means of a biopsy obtained during endoscopy), in children also for diagnosis. 13C-octane acid or. 13C acetate breath test Diagnosis and follow-up of gastric emptying disorders, especially gastric paralysis (gastroparesis); Testing the efficacy of certain medications that promote gastric motility.

H2 breath tests

It can be detected disorders of digestion of certain food components in the small intestine and its bacterial incorrect colonization. In addition, it is possible to determine the time taken for the porridge to pass through the small intestine. Therefore, these studies are used in patients with indigestion such as diarrhea, flatulence and nausea.

Lactose H2 breath test Used in cases of unexplained diarrhea or flatulence, especially if lactose intolerance is suspected. It lacks an enzyme in the small intestine, with which the lactose (milk sugar) is split. Therefore, it can not be absorbed, gets into the colon and is there decomposed by the intestinal bacteria. This leads to abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. The - harmless - disorder is widespread with 10-15% sufferers in Western Europe and is improved by appropriate (low-lactose) diet.

Fructose H2 breath test Performs on unclear diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal distension, bloating, nausea, and other uncharacteristic abdominal discomfort, especially if fructose intolerance is suspected. Fructose (fructose) is more common in our diet, which is found in table sugar, fruits and honey. In some people, absorption from the small intestine is diminished by a poorly functioning transport mechanism. As with lactulose intolerance, fructose then enters the colon and causes discomfort. Again, a corresponding diet helps.

Sucrose H2 breath test Supplemented with the lactose test, if it is borderline and there is a suspicion that not only the digestion of milk sugar but all double sugars (disaccharides) is disturbed.

Glucose H2 breath test Normally, glucose (glucose) is completely absorbed in the small intestine. Once bacteria settle there, they convert some of the glucose into hydrogen, which can be measured in the test. The symptoms of a bacterial incorrect colonization (eg as a result of antibiotic therapy) are unspecific, especially diarrhea, bloating and fullness after eating are among them.

Xylose H2 breath test It is used in a similar way to the lactose test. He shows unspecific pathological values ​​in all absorption disorders in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Lactulose H2 breath test Since lactulose is not absorbed, it always migrates into the colon, even in healthy people, where it is decomposed by bacteria to (hydrogen) H2. At least 10% of the population, however, the intestinal flora produces no hydrogen. Above all, this test is used to filter out such people because the H2 tests are not meaningful for them. In addition, it can also determine the passage time through the small intestine.

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