Hippocrates wrote a treatise on the relationship between disease and breath around 400 BC. The connection is not a modern scientific revelation, although developing techniques and the equipment becoming available are.
Your breathprint can be as unique as a fingerprint, reflecting the way your body is working internally. Our growing ability to analyse exhaled breath allows for testing which gives quick results, is non invasive and safe.
For gastrointestinal, exhaled breath tests, there may simply be a need to take a harmless test substance, or sugar solution orally. No discomfort, no need to reorganise your day and a range of diagnostic opportunities.
Established Breath Tests
Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium which lives in the stomach and can be a cause of gastric, or peptic ulcers, or in rarer cases, stomach cancer.
H. pylori produces an enzyme which, combined with the test substance you swallow, produces a quite specific sample of carbon in your breath. The bacterium swiftly identified, with no requirement for internal samples.
Lactose, or fructose intolerance are common dietary issues, or can arise after illnesses such as gastroenteritis or colitis, both can be traced using breath tests.
Following a test on your normal breath, you swallow a sugar solution. Further testing takes place at quite brief intervals, primarily hydrogen analysis, to establish your reaction to the additional sugars.
A third well established test is for the small intestine, normally free of bacteria. Bacteria from other areas of the gut can however colonise the small intestine, a cause of bloating and/or diarrhea.
Again, your reaction to a harmless substance (usually lactulose) can be analysed through your breath and bacterial infection identified. Once diagnosis is complete, treatment tends to be quick and effective.
The Future Of Breath Testing
A range of digestive symptoms can arise from reaction to sugars, or unwanted bacteria and the production of excessive gas internally. From bloat, to abdominal cramps, nausea, or physical weakness.
Professor Bloom’s clinics lead the way on exhaled breath testing in London and we continue to monitor reliable developments. To aid our patients and to make medical intervention more comfortable.
A Gastroenterologist by nature deals with areas which can not easily be seen. Advances which allow issues to be non invasively detected are welcome.
Breath testing fits well with our ethos of minimal intervention for maximum effect, often giving a quick diagnosis and solution. If our tests can help you, please get in touch at any time.