Breath Hydrogen Testing-BHA

Breath-Test A Strong Clinical Tool


What is BHA?

Breath Hydrogen Analysis testing is done to detect maldigestion and malabsorption of sugars or carbohydrates. This is most commonly the assessment of lactose intolerance. Carbohydrates (sugars, starches or vegetable fibers) are broken down in your small intestines. In lactose intolerance, lactose is not absorbed. Instead, bacteria will break down the unabsorbed lactose. As this bacteria works, it produces hydrogen which is exhaled in your breath. This test measures exhaled hydrogen.



What can we test for with BHA equipment?

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Sucrose intolerance
  • Fructose intolerance (do not do this test with family hx of Fructose intol.)
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

What symptoms indicate need for Lactose test?

  • Unspecified abdominal cramping
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

What symptoms indicate need for SIBO test?

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Steatorrhea (Fatty stools)
  • Macrocytic anemia (anemia due to a vitamin deficiency)

What Can I expect to happen during test?

During the study your child will be asked to blow into a mouthpiece to collect breath samples several times in a 4 hour time period. After the initial breath your child will drink a solution that is a mixture of a sugar and water. Your child is required to drink this solution in 5 minutes. (usually 6oz.) We recommend that you practice this at home prior to testing. Dr. Strobel with go over your results at the end of the test.

Our Office has the equipment available to do Breath Hydrogen Analysis. Be sure to talk with your primary care physician regarding your child’s symptoms. We welcome referrals for this testing. Please call our office for an appointment at (865)522-4116

Prep Instructions for Breath Hydrogen Testing.