2016-06-16 20:01:49 UTC

Food Allergies and Intolerances 106: Getting Tested for Fructose Malabsorption

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To prove fructose intolerance, your doctor can order a breath test that checks for hydrogen.


Fructose Breath Test 


  • Given to older children as well as adults.*
  • This test measures the amount of hydrogen in the breath. This test is very accurate.
  • In the test, the patient drinks a fructose-loaded drink, and the breath is tested at routine intervals.
  • Hydrogen in the breath means improper digestion of fructose. 
  • Certain foods, medications and smoking can change the test’s accuracy and may need to be skipped before the test.

* Hydrogen breath tests are not given to infants and young children, because giving these patients a fructose load can result in diarrhea (loose stool), which can cause dehydration.

Food Allergies and Intolerances – What to Know:
  • It is important to know the differences between food allergies and food intolerances.
  • A food allergy is a sudden, urgent and severe reaction to a food when it is eaten or touched. Symptoms include feeling itchy or having trouble breathing.
  • A food intolerance, or sensitivity, often has less severe symptoms, though is still very uncomfortable. Symptoms include gas and cramping pain.
  • Do not get rid of anything from your diet until your doctor tells you to do so.

© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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