Tests & Procedures

At Minnesota Gastroenterology, we know that patients and families want to know as much as possible about the test and/or procedure that is being recommended by a healthcare provider.  Refer to the list below to find the information that is most helpful to you.  If you still have questions, please contact us through our website Quick Links or call (612) 871-1145 to make an office appointment.


Glucose Hydrogen Breath Test

Glucose Hydrogen Breath Test Instructions

Gluclose Breath Test by Quintron

Video: Your Lactose, Fructose or Glucose Breath Test Experience


What is a glucose hydrogen breath test?
The glucose hydrogen breath test is used to identify abnormal growth of bacteria in the intestine. You will be asked to breathe into a breath collection device and your breath will be collected and analyzed for the presence of hydrogen.
Normally, small amounts of bacteria are found in the intestine. If there is a significant increase in the amount of bacteria, food and nutrients are not absorbed properly. Bacterial overgrowth can result from a slow transit of food through the bowels or from certain medications. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

What are the possible complications with this test?
Complications of a glucose hydrogen breath test are rare.

What should I expect during the test?
First, you will collect a baseline breath sample by breathing into the collection device. Then you will drink a solution of glucose. Then, every 20 minutes for a 3 hour period, you will breath into the device. You will collect a total of 10 breath samples.

What should I expect after the test?
Breath test samples must be returned/mailed within 3 days of collection. You will be able to resume your normal activities and diet. Your doctor will send you the results by mail in 9-12 days after your test is received. If the test indicates that you do have small bowel bacterial overgrowth, it may be treated with antibiotics.