Southern California Gastroenterology Associates SCGA Breath Test Instructions

At Genensis Healthcare Partners, our gastroenterologists believe in an accurate and timely diagnosis to give our patients the best possible outcomes. To diagnose gastrointestinal problems, we may use a breathing test, which is a non-invasive way of diagnosing a number of gastrointestinal conditions.

We provide convenient at-home breath test kits for our patients.



Who Needs a Breath Test?

We typically recommend a breath test to patients who are presenting digestive symptoms. A breath test can help with diagnosing lactose intolerance, sucrose intolerance, fructose intolerance, and bacterial overgrowth.

Breath Test Instruction Video


Breath Test Instructions

If you’re wondering how to carry out a breath test at home, here’s a step-by-step guide. We will also give you detailed instructions beforehand.

  1. Please follow the dietary restrictions found on the instructions inside your kit and fast. Fast for 12 hours before the test. This means do not consume food or liquids other than water. If not, schedule it for the next day.
  2. The test will take 3 hours, during which you cannot exercise, smoke, or drink (only sips of water are allowed).
  3. Fill out the requisition form (write down your name, gender, the date today, and the name of your doctor) if not already filled out by the doctor’s office staff.
  4. Now, open the box. You will see a bag that you will be breathing into and the test tubes that will collect your breath samples. It also comes with labels for the test tubes and the bubble envelopes that you will place them in. Also included is the substrate that you will be drinking. There is a mailing label, which you will use to mail us back the breath test kit, and printed-out detailed instructions in case you need it.
  5. Take your first sample, which will be your baseline. Attached to the bag is a mouthpiece, which you will be breathing into.
  6. Place the first test tube in the other opening that you see on the mouthpiece. Blow into the mouthpiece until the bag is full. Once the bag is full, put the test tube into the other opening. Do not remove your mouth and keep blowing into the bag for five seconds.
  7. Record the time on the label, then peel it off, and stick it onto the test tube. Place the first test tube inside the envelope.
  8. Next, take the substrate and mix it in four ounces of water. For SIBO glucose substrate testing, the amount of substrate you need to take varies depending on your weight. Patients 165 lbs. (75kg) or more: Mix entire packet in eight (8) ounces of water. Patients 164 lbs. (74.5kg) or less: For every 23 lbs. of patient weight, mix one (1) Tablespoon of glucose into eight (8) ounces of water. Round to the nearest Tablespoon. Example: If you are 145 lbs., mix 6 tablespoons of glucose in 8 ounces of water (145 ÷ 23 = 6.30 round to the nearest tablespoon).
  9. Set the timer to 20 minutes. Make sure not to eat, drink, smoke, exercise, or nap during this time.
  10. After 20 minutes have passed, it’s now time to collect your second sample. Take the second test tube, and go through the same process as when you collected the first sample. (Refer to step 6.)
  11. Repeat step 7 with the second test tube.
  12. Set the timer once again to 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, take another sample. Repeat step 6. This is now the third sample.
  13. Keep repeating step 6 (making sure to wait 20 minutes before taking each sample) until you run out of test tubes.
  14. Once you have completed the test, peel off the strip on the bubble envelope and seal it. Place the pouches into the box. Fold up the requisition form and place it into the box.
  15. Take the return label and write down your address. Then, take it to your nearest post office. 

At-Home Breath Test in California

Genensis Healthcare Partners Health has over 20 locations across California. If you have any questions about the breath tests or want to take one, call our clinic nearest you. Our friendly staff looks forward to assisting you!