Hydrogen Breath Test
Think that you might have SIBO? Find out what your body is trying to tell you?
This is our preliminary test for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is a common condition with multiple symptoms and several possible causes, and a lactulose hydrogen breath test is a great place to start identifying if you are suffering from SIBO.
This test is sourced from Genova and is a non-invasive breath tests which captures exhaled hydrogen after you ingest a lactulose solution. The results enable us to evaluate bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine.
(Packaging shown here is for illustration purposes only, actual packaging will vary)
Do you think you have SIBO? A hydrogen breath test can tell you for sure. It’s a simple test, and involves consuming lactulose or glucose, and a taking a breath sample in the following hour.
Basically, if the test shows you are not producing hydrogen, then there are no bacteria problems in your small intestine. But if hydrogen shows up, this means that some bacteria are present, pointing to bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Where it can get tricky is that testing with just one can miss some bacterial types. Indeed, just one test may not identify all causes of bloating or bowel problems.
So lactulose is the most popular test and a good starting point. Adding a glucose test can pickup other bacterial overgrowth issues that were missed by a lactulose test.
Another option is to take 3 tests using lactulose, fructose and glucose on consecutive days. This can give an even clearer bacterial picture. But using fructose is quite new, and we are still to reach a firm conclusion on it. So, we suggest lactulose, with glucose used as a second test if the lactulose test result gives a quirky or unexpected reading.
Although hydrogen breath testing can be tricky, it is the only test we have – short of a clinical biopsy – to investigate the bacteria in intestines.
Is stool testing worthwhile as well?
Breath testing provides limited information. It only tells us about the small intestine. But the intestines are a connected system. So if there is something wrong in one area, it can impact other areas of the intestine.
In fact, SIBO is part of a disorder of the whole digestive ecosystem. So it can make sense to combine a breath test with a stool test. The stool test gives information about the large intestine, so together both address the whole intestinal system.
Adding a stool test can also give more specific information on how SIBO has developed and sustained itself.
Lactulose, Fructose, Glucose, Lactose
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