H2 Breath Test Lactose Intolerance
What is it?
Lactose intolerance is a very common form of lactase deficiency, an enzyme that is necessary for the metabolism of milk lactose and its derivates, present in about 50% of the global population. Around 30-40% of the Italian population is affected although not all people may present any symptoms. There exists a congenital form and an acquired form: the congenital may become evident from birth, or later on in life; the acquired form is instead secondary to other pathologies, acute (Salmonellosis, Cholera, Acute Enteritis) or chronic inflammation of the intestine (Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, Lymphoma).
What are the symptoms?
The failed division of lactose in glucose and galactose, allows the passage of the unaltered molecule through the small intestine attracting water all the way to the colon where it is divided into ammonia, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. The consequent medical picture or history if characterized by abdominal bloating and distension, diarrhoea, abdominal pains similar to cramps, and flatulence. These symptoms may present themselves singularly or collectively. In addition, a lactose malabsorption is often present in ulcerative colitis cases and irritable bowel syndrome.
What tests are there for a correct diagnosis?
The most reliable test for a correct lactose intolerance diagnosis is the H2 Breath Test which evaluates the presence of hydrogen in the exhaled sample before and after the administration of 20 gr. of lactose, and taking 9 exhaled samples by making the patient blow into a balloon bag with regular intervals (every 30 minutes) for a maximum of 4 hours. In case there is the presence of lactose malabsorption, after the intake of lactose by the patient, in absence of the enzyme (lactase) that has to metabolize it fermentation, will occur an increase in the production of H2 in the intestine that is absorbed and expelled through the lungs through breathing.
In normal conditions the quantity of H2 produced is minimum, therefore an increase in its production found in the exhaled sample of air after the intake of Lactose, demonstrates the malabsorption of lactose in a light, moderate or strong form.
How to cure a Lactose Intolerance?
Eliminate all foods containing lactose for a minimum time period of 3 months with a subsequent H2 Breath Test control.
Use tablets which contain the lactase enzyme before eating any foods containing lactose.
- Carton box contains the kit’s components, reusable for the shipping of the samples to the lab for test reading;
- Sterile bag with removable spout and paper clip opening;
- 20ml sterile syringes to suck in alveolar gas collected in the bag;
- Caps to seal the syringes after the suction;
- Vial containing 20g of lactose powder
- Numbered stickers to apply in sequence on syringes
- Instruction manual of the test
- Application form for testing to send to the lab
- Sticker to apply on the kit containing the samples to analyze