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A Number of Medical Conditions May Be Diagnosed via Breath Tests

We’ve all seen police checkpoints breathalyzing potentially drunk drivers, but can more information be gleaned from a person’s breath? CBS News reports a study in the journal Gut which found a way to detect minor changes in specific compounds in exhaled breath associated with diagnosing stomach cancer. Other research has found that measuring hydrogen levels in breath can detect lactose intolerance. Hydrogen breath tests can also be used to detect bacterial overgrowth syndrome in the gut, as presence of the bacteria will cause fermentation in the small intestines. The application of breath testing has also been extended to measuring blood sugar levels in diabetics, however this handheld device has not yet received official approval.

See the slideshow by CBS News.

Read the study published in the journal Gut.