Frequently Asked Breath Test Questions & Answers

Question 1 - 16 Patient related, Questions 17 - 23 Health Professional related

Hydrogen and methane breath testing is based on the concept that bacteria can enter and proliferate in the small intestine and produce trace gases that are not generated by any normal function in the human body. By measuring the levels of these trace gases (hydrogen and methane) in the breath using gas chromatography, the test can aid in the diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other gastrointestinal disorders like sugar malabsorption

Only the following foods are permitted during the 12-hour preparatory diet period:

• Baked or broiled seafood, chicken, turkey, lean beef, or pork

• Eggs

• Plain white rice

• Plain coffee or tea or water

• Minimal oils for cooking, salt and pepper

NOTE: All other foods not listed above are not allowed during the 12-hour preparatory diet. Foods such as, but not limited to: alcohol, dairy, beans, wheat, grains, fruits and vegetables, and high-fiber containing foods are not allowed. Be sure to consult the Instructions for Use included in your kit.

Yes. A 12-hour fast is required prior to all breath tests. Water can be consumed during this time and during the test.

• Do not smoke during the 24-hour preparation period or at any point during the test

• Do not sleep or exercise for at least 1 hour prior to the test, or at any time during the test

• Antibiotics: Discontinue for 4 weeks before taking the test

• Laxatives: Discontinue 1 week before the test

• Consult with healthcare provider for any other medication related questions.

If you remembered to collect the baseline sample within 15 minutes of consuming the substrate, the test can be continued as normal. Be sure to collect the second sample 15 minutes after consuming the substrate.

If the baseline sample was collected after 15 minutes, the test needs to be repeated.

If the event was within 15-30 minutes after consuming the substrate, the test needs to be repeated. If the event was more than 30 minutes after consuming the substrate, the test can be continued as normal.
Your overall results will be affected, but continue with your test and include a note with your samples noting the time/sample during which this occurred. The note will be relayed to your health care provider. Your health care provider may decide a re-test is appropriate after the test is analyzed.
Yes, you must drink the entire substrate mixture, quickly, for the test to be valid. If you do not drink the entire mixture, the test must be repeated.
No. Eating at any point during the test will make the test results invalid. The test must be repeated.

If either the times or sample numbers were recorded, then we can process your test. If you do not record the time of the sample, we will include a note to your health care provider with your test results. Your health care provider will determine whether to accept the test results that were not labeled with times for each sample.

If neither the time nor sample numbers were recorded, the test will not be analyzed.

Glucose is absorbed by the digestive tract so it will not be able to detect SIBO that is further along in the small intestine (proximal jejunum/ileum). However, because of this, glucose is considered to be more sensitive than lactulose, providing less false positives with colonic bacteria.

Lactulose is not absorbed by the digestive tract and will travel through the entire gastrointestinal tract, ultimately providing a complete depiction of all intestinal segments, including the colon (large intestine).

In the United States, lactulose contains a 10-gram dose of lactulose with less than 1.6-grams of galactose, less than 1.2-grams of lactose, and 1.2- grams of other sugars. If you have a sensitivity to any of the sugars listed, please consult your healthcare provider/nutritionist for a possible alternative substrate he/she can prescribe. (i.e. glucose)

Outside the United States, lactulose contains a 10-gram dose of lactulose with more than 5-grams of lactose/galactose/epilactose. If you have a sensitivity to any of the sugars listed, please consult your healthcare provider/nutritionist for a possible alternative substrate he/she can prescribe. (i.e. glucose)

Glucose is 100% glucose sugar. If you are sensitive and/or have diabetes (Type I or II), please consult with your healthcare provider if this substrate is right for you.

Fructose is 100% fructose sugar.

Lactose is 100% lactose sugar

Sucrose is 100% sucrose sugar

Your breath samples are stable for up to two weeks and across a wide temperature range (-4°F to 104°F). Samples received after two weeks of collection will be invalid.

We consider any samples with a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentration of less than 2.00% to be an invalid sample.

If there are any components missing from any test kit, we will send out a new test kit to you or health care provider. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-888-258-5966 in this instance.

No. Each test must be taken after fasting for 12 hours and following a subsequent 12-hour preparatory diet. Taking two tests on the same day will produce invalid results.

Our hydrogen and methane breath test kits are available to health care providers at no cost. They are easily accessible through our website’s “Ordering” page or by contacting your Account Representative. Many of our providers also take advantage of our automatic re-ordering program to proactively account for average monthly usage. Call our Customer Service Department at 1-888-258-5966 for more information about ordering kits.

Our patient-centric model allows your patients to administer these tests in the comfort of their own home. Your office will simply fill out the one-page Requisition Form included in every kit and send your patient home to take it. A pre-paid return shipping label is included in the kit for easy patient return to our laboratory. We will take care of the rest.

We provide a pre-paid, pre-addressed UPS shipping label in each kit. Patients will simply take the completed, sealed test kit to their nearest UPS store or UPS drop-box for easy pick-up.

When the kit arrives at our laboratory, it will be analyzed within 24-hours. Kits that arrive on Saturdays or Holidays will be analyzed the following business day. Results will be sent to your practice via a secure fax system, secure email, or your office can set up an account with us to receive results via our HIPPA-compliant web based reporting system.

Insurance may cover some or all of your patient’s breath test depending on the patient’s insurance plan and benefits. We bill the medical insurance provider specified by patients on their Requisition Form included in each kit. We offer a patient assistance program for qualified individuals who cannot afford the test. Please call our Customer Service Department at 1-888-258-5966 for more information about billing or our patient assistance program.

This depends on the patient’s individual health plan. Even within the same medical health insurance company, some plans require pre-authorization and others do not. It is best for the patient to contact the appropriate health insurance representative to inquire about pre-authorization. Your patients’ claim may require an out of network pre-authorization referral. If there is a pre-authorization number, please ask the patient to write it on the Requisition Form he/she will be sending to us with the breath samples.

If your patient has no medical insurance, ask him or her to call our office for information. We do have cash pay options available, and we work with patients individually on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate payment options.

Dial 1-888-258-5966 to reach our Customer Service Department.