PI
Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Adjusting Your Diabetes Medicine and Diet for a Hydrogen Breath Test for Lactose Intolerance
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Diabetes

Adjusting your diabetes medicine and diet for a hydrogen breath test for lactose intolerance

​​​A lactose intolerance tests measure how well your intestines break down lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

If you see a diabetes educator or diabetes specialist, contact them at least 1 week before your test to ask about adjusting your diabetes medicine or insulin.

Follow the instructions the gastroenterology (GI) Clinic gives you about when and what to eat or drink before the test. You'll have to drink liquid that has 26.3g of lactose for the test.

Testing your blood sugar

Test your blood sugar anytime you feel your blood sugar is low or high.

  • Test your blood sugar at least every 4 hours. Blood sugars in the range of 8.0 to 12.0 mmol/L are fine for this test, even if it’s higher than your usual target.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes or you are on an SGLT2 inhibitor canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Forxiga), empagliflozin (Jardiance) and ertugliflozin (Steglatro) and your sugars are over 14.0 mmol/L, test your urine or blood for ketones.
    • If you have type 1 diabetes and positive for ketones, you may need extra insulin. Moderate to large ketones may mean that you’re in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and need to go to the Emergency Department right away.
  • If you’re worried about your blood sugar level, speak with your healthcare provider or diabetes educator.

Adjusting your diabetes medicine

If you take insulin

The day before your test

Supper

  • All doses stay the same for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Evening/Bedtime

  • Basal Insulin: Reduce your dose of basal insulin (Humulin N, Novolin NPH, Lantus, Basaglar, Toujeo, Levemir or Tresiba) by 20% or the amount your healthcare provider tells you. Tresiba may need to be reduced for 2-3 days before the procedure. Talk with your healthcare provider.
    Your dose will be units.
  • Insulin Pump: You may need to reduce your basal rate by 10% to 20% overnight if there are concerns about low blood sugar. If there are no concerns, keep the same basal rate.
Test day
  • Bolus (meal) Insulin: Don’t take your morning bolus (meal) insulin (Apidra, Humalog, NovoRapid, Fiasp, Humulin R, or Novolin Toronto).
  • Premix Insulin: Don’t take your morning premix insulin (Humulin 30/70, Novolin 30/70, Humalog 25/75) until after the test and you’re eating.
  • Basal Insulin: Reduce your dose of basal insulin (Humulin N, Novolin NPH, Lantus, Basaglar, Toujeo, Levemir or Tresiba) by 20% or the amount your healthcare provider tells you. Tresiba  may need to be reduced for 2-3 days before the procedure. Talk with your healthcare provider.
    Your dose will be units.
  • Insulin Pump: You may need to reduce your basal rate by 10% to 20% if there are concerns about low blood sugar. If there are no concerns, keep the same basal rate.

*Be sure to bring a source of fast-acting sugar and your blood glucose meter with you.

After your test
  • Premix Insulin: Reduce your morning dose of premix insulin dose (Humulin 30/70, Novolin 30/70,​ or Humalog 25/75) by 20% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you) for your first meal after the test.Your dose will be units.
  • All other insulin: Take as prescribed.

If you take diabetes medicine other than insulin

The day before your test
  • Take your diabetes medicine as usual or as your healthcare provider tells you.
Test day
  • Don’t take any diabetes medicine until after your test is done and you're eating. Then take it as per your scheduled dose.

*Be sure to bring a source of fast-acting sugar and your blood glucose meter with you.

For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.

​​

Current as of: July 10, 2020

Author: Endocrinology and Metabolism Program, Alberta Health Services