If you're struggling with IBS symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and irregularity, it might be time to consider an assessment for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Hydrogen & Methane Breath testing is currently considered the gold standard in diagnosing SIBO.
This simple, non-invasive, at-home collection test is an essential tool to aid the proper diagnosis of SIBO. It is used to detect bacteria in the distal end of the small intestine by assessing for hydrogen and methane gas released in the breath. Elevations in these gases confirm the presence of bacteria, and aid in developing a more specific treatment plan for their eradication.
The Testing Procedure
Dr. Holmberg will provide you with a test kit that includes:
- 10 breath sample vials
- a mouthpiece for sample collection
- 10 ml lactulose solution
- pre-paid Purolator packaging for sample pick up
- a complete instruction pamphlet for proper collection
The procedure involves the patient ingesting a lactulose solution, followed by a collection of breath samples every 20 mins for 3 hours. The breath samples are assessed for hydrogen and methane gas, and the gasses are graphed out over the transit time of small intestine and compared to baseline.
Since humans do not have the enzyme to break it down, lactulose virtually travels unchanged through the small intestine, and is therefore considered a more favourable option than the Glucose Breath Test.
Elevations in hydrogen or methane gas, most commonly around the 120 min, are positive results for SIBO. There is currently no universally accepted standard among physicians for a positive result, so Dr. Holmberg will use your results, your complete symptom picture, and years of clinical experience in managing SIBO to aid in a proper diagnosis.
ALWAYS TEST BEFORE YOU TREAT!
Symptoms of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine can vary greatly (Click Here to learn more about SIBO). They can also mimic a number of other underlying issues. As a result, testing is essential to avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics and/or antimicrobial therapy. We must remember that while antimicrobials aid in removal of pathogenic bacteria, they also disrupt our beneficial microbiome, so unnecessary use is ill advised. Dr. Holmberg always advises to test before you treat SIBO.
To learn more about SIBO testing, or to obtain an at home test collection kit, contact Dr. Holmberg below
Information and photos collected and adapted from Doctors Data. Courtney Holmberg, ND does not endorse or professional affiliation with this lab company. The information provided is for general education, and is not intended to assist in diagnosing or treating a medical condition.