Pediatric Gastroenterology

Breath Hydrogen Tests

American Family Children's Hospital's pediatric gastroenterologists in Madison, Wisconsin provide evaluation and treatment for a wide range of gastrointestinal and hepatologic disorders.
Breath hydrogen tests are performed to determine if there is a problem with carbohydrate absorption. The most common breath hydrogen test is for lactose intolerance, or the sugar in dairy products. Intolerances to sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (the sugar in fruits and soda) can also be tested.
What to Expect
  • The test is performed over a period of four hours
  • Bring items to keep your child entertained for this length of time
  • Your child will not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test and will not be able to eat or drink until the test is completed
  • The morning of the test, you and your child will come to the pulmonary lab
  • When the testing begins, your child will blow into a tube and drink a solution that contains lactose, sucrose or fructose
  • Every half hour after drinking the solution, your child will again blow into the tube
  • The technician will monitor your child for any symptoms during the test
  • After four hours, the test is completed
  • We will call you when we receive the results