Patient Preparation

For Optimal Patient Preparation:

  • Do not use this test within four (4) weeks of a colonoscopy or barium enema.
  • Do not use this test if you had any broad-based antibiotics or use bismuth preparations such as Pepto Bismol within two (2) weeks prior to administering the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth breath test.
  • Avoid laxatives, stool softeners or stool bulking agents one (1) week prior to the test including: Colace, Milk of Magnesia, Ex-Lax, Metamucil or Citrucel.

Diet and Drink Preparation 24 hours Before the Test:

Recommended foods and drinks: Baked or broiled chicken or turkey, all fish, eggs, creamy peanut butter, plain white bread, plain white rice, plain white potatoes, water, non-flavored black coffee or tea.  Salt or pepper may be used to flavor your food.

Avoid these foods and drinks: Beans, pasta, meats (steak), all vegetables, all fruits, fiber or bran cereals, tofu, nuts, popcorn, butter or margarine, whole wheat and rye breads, all dairy products (milk and cheeses), and high fiber foods (whole grains).  Avoid soda (pop) cola drinks and drinks with high fructose corn syrup.


The Day of the Test:

DO NOT eat, drink, chew gum or tobacco, smoke cigarettes, eat breath mints or candy before or during the test.

DO NOT sleep or exercise during the test.

DO TAKE prescription medications with a small amount of water.

DO BRUSH your teeth prior to the test.

Potential Complications of the Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test:

There are very few potential serious complications during the 1-hour testing. Patients may feel minor discomfort from ingestion of lactulose or glucose including diarrhea, gas, cramping or bloating.

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