Do you have abdominal pain or diarrhea after eating a bowl of cereal or ice cream? You may have lactose intolerance. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Gateway Gastroenterology in Chesterfield, Missouri, perform lactose intolerance testing to diagnose lactose intolerance. To determine what’s causing your bloating and abdominal pain, call the office or request a consultation online today.
Lactose intolerance is a gastrointestinal condition that causes abdominal pain, gas, and bloating after eating foods that contain lactose. Lactose is a simple carbohydrate in dairy products like cow’s milk, ice cream, and pudding.
People with lactose intolerance either don’t make the enzyme (lactase) needed to digest lactose, or they don’t make enough of the enzyme.
The inability to digest the carbohydrate is why they encounter uncomfortable symptoms.
Lactose intolerance testing assesses how well your body breaks down lactose. There are two types of lactose intolerance testing:
Hydrogen breath testing measures the amount of hydrogen you breathe out after consuming a lactose-containing solution. Higher breath hydrogen means poor digestion of lactose.
Glucose blood testing measures your blood glucose levels after drinking a lactose-containing solution.
Gateway Gastroenterology performs hydrogen breath testing to diagnose lactose intolerance.
Gateway Gastroenterology gives you specific instructions on the steps you need to take to prepare for lactose intolerance testing. Following the required guidelines ensures you get the most accurate results.
In general, your provider may request you make changes to your diet in the weeks before your test. The day before your scheduled evaluation, your provider gives you a limited list of foods you can eat and requests you stop eating and drinking about 12 hours before your exam.
They also request no smoking or strenuous exercise the day before the test.
Gateway Gastroenterology performs lactose intolerance testing at the office. First, your provider has you breathe into a breathalyzer that measures your baseline levels of hydrogen. You drink a lactose-containing solution, and your provider measures your breath every 15 to 20 minutes.
Lactose intolerance testing at Gateway Gastroenterology takes two to four hours. You can go back to your usual diet and routine after testing. Your gastroenterologist reviews the data from the test and has you return for a follow-up appointment to discuss the results and treatment.
To find out more about lactose intolerance testing at Gateway Gastroenterology, call the office or request an appointment online today.