What is a hydrogen breath test?

Also known as: breath test, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth hydrogen breath test.

If a doctor suspects that a patient is experiencing digestive problems where food is not being digested properly, he or she may order a hydrogen breath test.

Hydrogen is produced by bacteria in the digestive tract. If a large amount of hydrogen is detected by the hydrogen breath test, it’s an indication that a large amount of unabsorbed food has reached the intestines.


Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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