Lactose malabsorption is a common condition marked by the inability to fully digest the sugar lactose contained in dairy products like milk and ice cream. This condition often results in a patient exhibiting a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms and discomfort.

A deficiency of lactase — an enzyme produced in your small intestine — is usually responsible for lactose malabsorption. Many people have low levels of lactase but are still able to digest milk products without problems. If you’re actually lactose intolerant, however, your lactase deficiency will lead to symptoms after you eat dairy foods. Most people with lactose malabsorption can manage the condition with dietary modification.

  • What are the symptoms of lactose malabsorption?

    Patients suffering from lactose malabsorption experience a variety of symptoms, including:

    • Diarrhoea

    • Abdominal Cramps

    • Bloating

    • Gas

    • Nausea, and sometimes, vomiting

What is a hydrogen and methane breath test for lactose malabsorption?

Following a 12-hour fast and 12-hour dietary preparation period, patients drink a substrate solution that contains high levels of lactose. FGD’s lactose malabsorption breath test then measures the breakdown of lactose over a period of time based on the amount of hydrogen or methane in your breath by capturing breath samples at regular 40 minute intervals. Normally, very little hydrogen or methane is detectable.

However, if your body doesn’t properly digest the lactose, it will ferment in the intestines, releasing hydrogen or methane and other gasses, which are absorbed by your intestines and eventually exhaled through the lungs. Larger than normal amounts of exhaled hydrogen or methane measured during a breath test indicates that you aren’t fully digesting and absorbing lactose and may suffer from lactose malabsorption. Our lactose malabsorption hydrogen and methane breath test can be administered in-office or in the comfort of the patient’s own home.


Dairy products, milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

0161 302 7777


Contact Us

Please call us now on 0161 302 7777. You can email us at:


Contact Us

Please call us now on 0161 302 7777. You can email us for out of hours support too: