Testing for diseases by breathing is a noninvasive approach used by doctors to diagnose various health-related issues. By examining one’s breath, doctors can verify certain gases to reach a faster and precise disease diagnosis.
Increasingly, contemporary researches are confirming this notion with evidence on the use of breath disease diagnostic approach — different diseases, ranging from major to minor, such as cancer can be diagnosed just with a single breath into a breathalyzer. And this is possible because each of these diseases has a unique breath print.
The breathalyzer has the potential to detect each person’s infection with about 86% precision. Aside from the breathalyzer, other facilities aid disease detection by breathing. Let’s examine a few of them-
- Breath test for Stomach cancer- With the aid of a new technique termed Nanoarray; early detection of the cancers of the gut is now possible. This technique detects changes in the measure of a particular compound in exhaled breath related to stomach cancers. Presently, potent noninvasive approach to diagnosing stomach cancer is not available. This approach could be a lifesaver to many and at a reduced cost
- Fructose and Lactose intolerance- Fructose of lactose intolerant is a term which connotes the inability of the body to digest lactose and or fructose. Lactose is sugar contained in dairy products. Fructose, on the other hand, is sugar found in artichokes, onions, pears, wheat, etc. Consequently, digestion related issues including bloating, diarrhea and cramping may arise whenever the patient ingests dairy product. The hydrogen breath test is used to verify lactose or fructose intolerant condition. First, the host consumes a beverage with a substantial amount of lactose or fructose. Periodically, the amount of hydrogen is examined in the breath for about two hours. Bacteria ferment undigested lactose and fructose in the body to produce gases including hydrogen. So, a substantial quantity of hydrogen in the breath is an indication that the host might be lactose or fructose intolerant.
- The breath test and Diabetes- Recently, in an outcome of research performed in Massachusetts, diabetics can be diagnosed by verifying the blood sugar levels in a single breath. In this test, the acetone level which has been established to have an association with blood sugar level in the breath is analyzed. A substantial amount of ketone bodies in the breath is an indication of a diabetic condition termed Ketoacidosis.
- Breathing test and Asthma- Breathing test is used to detect asthma and pulmonary related issues by doctors. In this test, the volume of air the patient can exhale, and difficulty experienced at inhaling is examined. Lower peak flow reading is an indication of non-functioning lungs. Alternatively, an exhaled nitric oxide (NO) test, may be used to explore NO levels in the breath. The breath is collected at the machine’s mouthpiece for sample collection. The body produces the NO gas which is anti-inflammatory. A significant amount of the gas is an indication of an inflamed air passage, a precursor for asthma
- The breath test and Bacterial- Overgrowth Syndrome- Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) may occur as a result of uncontrolled bacteria growth in the small intestine. SIBO infected patient suffers from excessive bloating, cramping, diarrhea and gas. Diagnosis is by the use of a simple breath examination. Drink sugar solution, respire or breathe into the breathalyzer. Fermented bacteria will be evident in your breath. Your doctor can confirm SIBO.
- Malaria- Malaria, a pathogen harbored by an infected mosquito, is a major cause of death in the developing world. In 2013, about 198 million estimated case and 584 000 deaths were recorded. Currently, Australian Researchers opines a malaria diagnostic test. Here, malaria is detected by sulfur-containing chemical compounds in a patient’s breath.
- Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) and Breath Test- Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) is a bacteria which is present in the stomach or duodenum. They are associated with chronic inflammation. A relationship has been established between some health-related conditions and H. Pylori including gastric cancers and peptic ulcers. The test procedures for H. Pylori is as scheduled:
- The patient goes without a meal or drinks an hour before the test
- The Patient is then connected to a nasal breath cannula attached to a Breath Analyzer.
- A baseline measure is taken, followed by the ingestion of a 5-ounce solution.
- The release of CO2 into the bloodstream is an indication of H. pylori. From the blood, the CO2 moves to the lungs where it is electronically analyzed. The ideal testing duration is about 10 minutes.
The Advantages of the breathing test technique
The traditional approach used in clinical diagnostics is costly and time-consuming — consequently, this results in delays in treatments of diseases. The breathing method of diagnosis, though not popular is currently underway. Early detection by this approach allows early treatment with improved prognoses; Many patients avoid regular prophylactic owing to involvement in invasion and painful procedures with its attendance adverse risk. Advancement in the use of devices and breath to analyze diseases provides a new and noninvasive approach to diagnosis, early and faster treatment with a prospect of a better outcome, and recovery.