Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing (HMBT) with the Gastrolyzer® Range

A Gastrolyzer® breath test is a faster and non-invasive approach in comparison with more conventional methods, such as a blood test. More hydrogen and/or methane will be produced by bacteria in the gut when it is reacting intensively to something ingested.

Breath samples of patients can be compared by a dietitian/doctor after they have drunk the solution to their baseline reading to identify the problem and advise them on the best course of action.

HMBT using the Gastrolyzer® range can help arrive at a diagnosis for:

  • Investigation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Intolerance to dairy
  • Inability to absorb fruit and fruit products

Using the gastrolyzer

Image credit: Bedfont Scientific

What is the Gastrolyzer® range?


                Gastrolyzer range

Image credit: Bedfont Scientific

The Gastrolyzer® range comprises of breath analysis monitors to identify the cause of gut discomfort, including nausea, bloating, and flatulence.

A breath test using a Gastrolyzer® is rapid, simple and most importantly, non-invasive. The procedure involves measurement of the level of hydrogen and/or methane in breath that is released when food is broken down in the gut.

Based on the levels of hydrogen and/or methane measured, it can be identified whether a patient have a condition, such as bacterial overgrowth problem, malabsorption, or a food intolerance.

Knowing the hydrogen and/or methane breath levels helps the doctor or dietician advise patients on how best to treat their condition. The treatment may involve a change in lifestyle, diet, taking medication, or a combination.

Preparation for the breath test

Using the Gastrolyzer GastroCheck

Image credit: Bedfont Scientific

It is crucial to follow the patient preparation in order to take a true baseline reading. Up to four weeks prior to performing the breath test, the following must be avoided:

  • Stool softeners or hardeners
  • Antibiotics
  • Pre- and probiotics

24-hours prior to the breath test, it is important to avoid foods containing grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, whilst being sure to eat plenty of fish or chicken, plain rice, water, and eggs.

On the day of the breath test:

  • Fast for 12 hours prior to the test
  • No chewing gum or candy
  • No smoking
  • No exercise
  • Clean teeth two hours before the test

Breath testing process

After completing the patient preparation, including fasting, the patient will be asked to undergo an initial breath test to get the baseline reading.

The Gastrolyzer® range can provide both direct and indirect measurements of breath samples. If the patient is taking the test directly, he/she has to exhale into the Gastrolyzer®. If it is an indirect measurement, the patient has to exhale into a breath bag, which will be investigated at a later time.

   GastoCheck Gastrolyzer

Image credit: Bedfont Scientific

After obtaining the baseline reading, the patient will be asked to drink a solution. Then, based on the condition the patient is being tested for, he/she must follow a protocol by providing further breath samples at specific time intervals.

When the test is taken directly, the results and diagnosis can be received from the doctor/dietitian immediately. If the test is taken with breath bags, the patient must first return the breath samples to his/her doctor/dietitian for analysis before reaching a diagnosis.

About Bedfont ScientificBedfont® Scientific Ltd

Bedfont® Scientific has specialised in the design and manufacture of exhaled breath and gas monitoring instruments since 1976.

For medical gas monitoring, their Medi-Gas Check medical pipeline testing range verifies not only the quantity but also quality of gas administered to patients.

Bedfont's breath analysers include carbon monoxide (CO) monitors such as the Smokerlyzer®, used for smoking cessation, and the ToxCO®, used by emergency services, to diagnose CO poisoning.

The NObreath® FeNO monitor provides accurate analysis of airway inflammation for the control of asthma, and the Gastrolyzer® range aids in the detection of gastrointestinal disorders and food intolerances. Quick and non-invasive, breath analysis is the new blood test.

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Last updated: May 18, 2020 at 4:36 AM


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