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How to Prepare for a Breath Test in NJ

The Day Before Your Breath Test

24 hours before your breath test, you may only consume the following foods: 

  • Plain White Bread
  • Plain White Rice
  • Plain White Potato
  • Baked or Boiled Chicken/Fish (not fried)
  • Black Coffee or Tea (no dairy)
  • Eggs (any style)
  • Water

It is important to eat only the prescribed prep diet before your breath test. This is because everything we eat is broken down into intestinal bacteria, which then converts to hydrogen and/or methane gas. Too much of either gas can contribute to problems, such as diarrhea or stomach pain. Breath tests help identify and diagnose abnormal levels of these gasses. In order to accurately diagnose the source of your digestive problems, DHC will observe your regular hydrogen and methane levels, without any interference from certain ingested foods. Certain foods and drinks will significantly impact your hydrogen and methane levels, which can skew the results of your breath test.

Foods to Avoid Before Your Breath Test

Please refrain from eating the following foods the entire day before your breath test, as they are rich in carbohydrates and starches which can unnaturally alter your breath test results:

  • Dairy Products
  • Pasta
  • Beans
  • Red Meat
  • Carbonated or Alcoholic Beverages
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Fruits or Vegetables

You should not consume anything by mouth 12 hours prior to your appointment.

The Day of Your Breath Test

The breath test takes around three hours, so please plan your day accordingly. Before your breath test appointment, please take the following precautions:

  • DO NOT chew gum or tobacco, smoke cigarettes, or eat breath mints or candy one hour before or during your test
  • DO NOT exercise or sleep one hour before or during your test
  • DO NOT take any antibiotics two weeks prior to your test
  • DO NOT use laxatives (Miralax is OK) one week prior to your test
  • DO brush your teeth prior to the test
  • Please take all your medications the morning of the test (with a small amount of water)

As the test is three hours long, you are welcome to bring reading or entertainment materials to keep yourself occupied. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your test!

After Your Breath Test

After your breath test at Digestive Healthcare Center, your physician will discuss the results with you and answer any questions you may have.

Recent Blogs

Learn more about all things digestive health and wellness by checking out our recent gastroenterology blogs.

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October 1, 2020
Colorectal Cancer Screening: What You Should Know

What is Colorectal Cancer? At Digestive Healthcare Center, our team of expert gastroenterologists strives to ensure that patients have all the information they need to promote long term digestive health. In the case of certain gastroenterological conditions such as colorectal cancer, screening is incredibly important. Colorectal cancer starts in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. […]

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August 7, 2020
Gastroparesis Awareness Month – Learn More from DHC

What is Gastroparesis? At Digestive Healthcare Center, we want to ensure that patients have information about an array of digestive health conditions, to promote positive gastrointestinal health year-round. One such condition is gastroparesis, which is a digestive condition that affects the motility of the muscles in your stomach. Normally, after you swallow, the muscles within […]

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March 17, 2020
COVID-19 Update

To all our valued patients at Digestive Healthcare Center and Central Jersey Ambulatory Surgical Center Your health and safety are important to us. To help protect patients and staff, we have designated Digestive Healthcare Center and Central Jersey Ambulatory Surgical Center as a Patient and Staff “SAFE ZONE.” Our SAFE ZONE is defined by the safety […]

Breath Tests at Digestive Healthcare Center

If you have any questions about how to properly prepare for your breath test, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Digestive Healthcare Center. At DHC, we put our patients’ safety and comfort first. Since we offer state-of-the-art procedures for a variety of digestive conditions, we are able to accurately diagnose and treat various digestive conditions and provide treatment options so you can live a healthier and more comfortable life. Most of our procedures, including breath tests, are conducted at our Hillsborough, NJ location, but we also take appointments and perform certain procedures at our Warren and Somerville offices. Please contact us with any questions you have about breath tests or to make your appointment today.

About Telemedicine Visits

We are proud to offer telemedicine care to patients throughout NJ, allowing patients to consult with one of our expert gastroenterologists via a two-way video call. Setting up and completing a telemedicine visit is extremely simple, and all you need to do to get started is give one of our offices a call or contact us by filling out a form.