CDL Laboratories uses hydrogen breath testing in the diagnosis of a condition in which dietary sugars are not digested normally. The most common sugar that is poorly digested is lactose, the sugar in milk. Individuals who are unable to properly digest lactose are referred to as lactose intolerant. Testing also may be used to diagnose problems with the digestion of other sugars such as:

  • Fructose
  • Sorbitol
  • Glucose
  • Lactulose
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Xylose
  • Etc.

By appointment only at (514) 344-8022 extension 333.
Each test is booked separately and can last up to 3 hours.

You are required to follow the instructions below to ensure a successful test.


Hydrogen / Methane Breath Test – Patient Instructions and Preparation

  1. General information
    • Breath tests prescribed by your doctor will be performed at intervals of 3 days minimum;
    • Each visit will take 3 hours;
    • Fast for 12 hours prior to the test: no food, no drink.
  2. 14 days prior to test:
    • No antibiotics, colonoscopy, or barium enema exams are allowed.
  3. 24 hours before the test is performed, avoid the following products:
    • Grain Products: Whole grains products, including cereals and melba toast, brans or high-fiber cereals.
    • Fruits: Fruit juices, applesauce, apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, canned fruit cocktail, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon. Raw and dried fruits like raisins and berries. Yogurt that contains fruit.
    • Vegetables: Vegetable juices, potatoes, alfalfa sprouts, beets, green/yellow beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms, green/red peppers, squash, zucchini.
    • Vegetables from the cruciferous family: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, beans, lentils, etc.
    • Nuts, Seeds, Beans: All nuts, seeds and beans, as well as foods that may contain seeds.
    • All Dairy Products (except eggs): Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter.


    Suggestion of last meal to consume prior the test:

    • Baked or broiled chicken or turkey. (Salt and pepper only)
    • Baked or broiled fish. (Salt and pepper only)
    • Plain steamed white rice
    • Eggs
    • Clear chicken or beef broth
  4. The day of the test:
    • No eating or drinking (except for small amounts of water up to 1 hour before). We suggest, if possible, to delay your am oral medication until after completion of the test. As your safety is the first priority, if the doctor who prescribes your medication prefers that you not change your schedule, you should follow the instructions of the prescribing physician. You will still be able to perform the test.
    • Don’t brush your teeth before exam.
    • 1 hour before the exam: no sleeping, no vigorous exercise, no smoking up until the end of the exam
    • Dr. Mishkin, CDL’s Gastroenterology consultant, will be pleased to discuss the Hydrogen Breath Tests and the suggested preparation with your physician.

Consult your health care provider regarding the need to discontinue drugs that can affect the test and for all questions about the previous list.

Additional Information

  • You will be required to drink a special solution according to the test prescribed;
  • You will be required to blow into a collection bag every 15 to 20 minutes for 3 hours.

Note: A dietician with over fifteen years experience in the management of sugar malabsorption/intolerance is available for consultation upon request by appointment only: (514) 932-2686.

Top ^