The hydrogen breath test cannot be done following a colonoscopy, barium enema, or any tests that require a bowel prep to be given. The bowel prep will cleanse the bacteria. You must wait 4 weeks to have a breath test done to allow the bacteria to re-establish.
4 weeks before the test
DO NOT take any antibiotics or Pepto Bismol®. Do NOT undergo colonoscopy, barium enema, or other tests that require a bowel prep or cleansing.
24 hours before the test
DO NOT smoke the day before and the day of the test. Smoking can affect the results of the test. Try to avoid places where people smoke. Second-hand smoke can also affect the results of the test.
Day of the test
DO NOT smoke. Avoid second-hand smoke. DO NOT chew gum. DO NOT use mouthwash. Use only a small amount of water when you brush your teeth.
8 hours before the test
DO NOT eat or drink anything (including water) for 8 hours before the test.
Upon arrival for the test
A healthcare provider will explain the test in detail and answer any questions you may have.
The testing procedure can last for up to 3 hours.