Year of abdominal pain — Hydrogen Breath Testing

Update

Mr took me into Boston today for the Hydrogen Breath testing.  I thought I took to be there super-early, turns out I waited in the wrong part of the GI unit for an hour before realizing it. 

I had to drink a lactulose solution, and puffed into a bag with a syringe on it.  My air was injected into a super cool gas analyzer machine and that's that.

I think I passed — or I failed?  I watched the numbers of the machine during each breath sample collection and I saw an increase in the numbers, however the tech said that she didn't see "much change."   So, bacteria may not be my problem.  Interestingly, the drink triggered more pain.  Thanks!  I don't DO 'OSES for that reason.

322513_284005378310544_105130816198002_837133_1095045421_oSmall Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SBBOS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) – the patient is either given a challenge dose of glucose, also known as dextrose (75-100 grams), or lactulose (10 grams). A baseline breath sample is collected, and then additional samples are collected at 15 minute or 20 minute intervals for 3–5 hours. Positive diagnosis for a lactulose SIBO breath test – typically positive if the patient produces approximately 20 ppm of hydrogen and/or methane within the first two hours (indicates bacteria in the small intestine), followed by a much larger peak (colonic response). This is also known as a biphasic pattern. Lactulose is not absorbed by the digestive system and can help determine distal end bacterial overgrowth, which means the bacteria are lower in the small intestine. Positive diagnosis for a glucose SIBO breath test – glucose is absorbed by the digestive system so studies have shown it to be harder to diagnose distal end bacterial overgrowth since the glucose typically doesn't reach the colon before being absorbed. An increase of approximately 12 ppm or more in hydrogen and/or methane during the breath test could conclude bacterial overgrowth. Recent study indicates "The role of testing for SIBO in individuals with suspected IBS remains unclear." [2]

The excess hydrogen or methane is assumed to be typically caused by an overgrowth of otherwise normal intestinal bacteria.

Tomorrow is marked with the most exciting of several tests in an attempt to narrow down my year of abdominal pain. This test could show the presence of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth — which is somewhat common in those who've got lower gut issues and also in those who have had gastric bypass or who have had abdominal surgeries.

Bascially — I breathe into a bag every so many minutes for a few hours.  The samples are collected and tested for the presence of excess gases.  'urp. Reading about these tests, and watching test videos and the excessive use of the word METHANE only brings to mind … cows.

Cow_lamp02

If I get a positive result on this test — I am starting a post bariatric energy company.  <sarcasm intended> There are far too many of us with broken guts who could probably power up our own houses with malabsorptive misfirings.

Hydrogen Breath Testing

The hydrogen breath test is used to identify lactose or fructose intolerance, or an abnormal growth of bacteria in the intestine. It is used to diagnose a lactose or fructose intolerance, which is the inability of the body to digest and or absorb lactose, the sugar found in dairy or fructose, the sugar found in a number of foods (fruit, vegetables, soda, etc.). Hydrogen breath testing can also be used to diagnose intestinal bacterial overgrowth. A breath sample will be collected and tested for the presence of hydrogen. To obtain the sample, you will be asked to blow up a balloon-type bag. Normally, very little hydrogen is detected in the breath. You will then be given a lactose, fructose, or lactulose solution to drink. Breath samples are collected every 15 minutes for 2 hours to detect any increase in hydrogen in the breath as the solution is digested. Increased hydrogen breath levels indicate improper digestion. The testing procedure lasts about 3 hours.

Super-fun, but likely the easiest of the tests because nothing goes inside me.  See? 

Next, is the capsule endoscopy. Then, the colonscopy for the holiday. 

Dear Santa, I thought I'd been good…


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