After a hydrogen breath test or methacholine challenge test

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes how to look after your child at home after hydrogen breath test or methacholine challenge test and how to deal with any problems that might occur.For the first 24 hours after the test, please keep your child at home and seek medical advice if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Tummy pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
Your child will not have eaten or drunk for the duration of the test so make sure that they eat a large snack before you leave the unit. Your nurse can provide this if you have not brought your child’s favourite with you.

Getting back to normal

Unless you have been advised otherwise

  • Your child can start eating and drinking their usual diet
  • They can re-start any medications that were stopped for the test

Getting the test results

The results of the hydrogen breath test will usually be reviewed and available with 10 working days. The MCT breath test takes longer to analyse, up to eight weeks, as it has to be sent to another organisation.

If you do not have a clinic appointment arranged with the consultant who referred your child for the test, please arrange one. Their number to call will be on the bottom of your last appointment letter.

Compiled by:
The Gastroenterology Investigation Suite in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
March 2017