How a lactose breath test from your gastroenterologist in New York, New York can help determine if you are lactose intolerant
A lactose breath test is recommended and performed by a gastroenterologist. The test can help determine if you have an abnormal growth of bacteria in your intestine, or if you are lactose intolerant. Dr. Myron D. Goldberg in New York, New York offers a wide range of testing, including the lactose breath test.
Diagnosing abnormal bacterial growth in your intestine is one of the goals of the lactose breath test. A small amount of bacteria in the intestine is normal, but if you have excessive amounts of bacteria, the nutrients in your food won’t be absorbed well. You can acquire bacterial overgrowth from some medications, or the slow movement of food through your bowels. Symptoms of bacterial overgrowth include gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Lactose intolerance is another condition that can be diagnosed using the lactose breath test. When you are lactose intolerant, you lack the ability to digest the sugar found in milk, known as lactose. When you are lactose intolerant, your small intestine isn’t producing lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping when you consume dairy products.
When you have a lactose breath test, your gastroenterologist will ask you to blow up a bag resembling a balloon. You will be given a solution containing either glucose or lactose and the level of hydrogen will be measured. Breath samples will be taken at 15 to 20-minute intervals to determine if there is an increase in hydrogen levels. Increased hydrogen in your breath means that you are having problems with digestion.
A lactose breath test is a non-invasive way to determine if you are lactose intolerant or have abnormal bacteria levels. The test has no side-effects and no downtime, so you can resume your normal activities.