Breath test anyone?
Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:21 PM
This has been getting me down as at times I am scared to leave the house. I have had biopsies when I had a Gastroscopy a couple of months ago, and also blood test to check for Bacteria Overgrowth. Everything was normal, I do though have mild diverticulitis in the bowel. My doctor has prescribed me Flagyl in the past, which has done nothing, she has now prescribed me Ciprofloxacub tablets. She is convinced I have bacteria overgrowth and wants me to have a breath test, this is the only test that is really accurate.
Your thoughts or opinions are much appreciated.
Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:03 AM
Sorry to hear that you are having bowel issues. Removing bad flora in your bowel track helps by taking medication (antibotics) but with diverticulitus and any type irritable bowel problem you might need plenty of fiber (but always check with your doctor first).
I didn't need to have the breath test as my doctors knew I had the overgrowth problem by doing the colonoscopy and things I relayed to them via phone. There are medications out there that can help if this becomes an ongoing problem and gets even worse. I know what you are dealing with being afraid to leave home. That can be aweful. Theres help. Let us know about the breath test when you have it and get the results.
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:16 AM
Although I'm only a patient, I'd say a breath test is about as noninvasive as you can get. And the results may help guide your care in the most appropriate manner. It is possible to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) without having bacterial overgrowth, so I'd say the breath test could be very important in getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Fiber supplements may help some people with the constipation side of irritable bowel syndrome, but that does not sound like your primary problem, and increased fiber might complicate things. So please ask your doctor, of course, about all your treatment and dietary options. Here is the link to our Bowel Involvement page for further enlightenment.
Many autoimmune diseases, including scleroderma, irritable bowel syndrome, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's, etc. are sometimes caused by gluten sensitivity although there is a huge lack of awareness about this by doctors and patients alike. See our page on Autoimmune Disease: Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity. If you don't have bacterial overgrowth, you may want to look into this more.
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099
The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.
Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:56 AM
Posted 25 June 2008 - 10:32 AM
Every so often I had to blow down straw into a glass of what looked like water? This went on at regular intervals and the person doing the test fed the liquid into a machine which produced a result.
If I was you, I'd take lot's of reading material with you. It's rather boring and the test lasted 8 hours.
Needless to say they found nothing, but I've had the test twice and on each occasion I was more than happy to see it through!
Hope this helps?
Posted 25 June 2008 - 01:34 PM
I am a bit of a newbie, but I have had a lot of different tests lately and the breath test was one of them. It is really pretty benign as tests go. You have to drink something and then breathe into a tube. It was not a very long test, if I recall, and my results were very definitive. I had been having bowel issues - I had periods of time when I could not leave the bathroom and I was attributing it to my irritable bowel. My doctor wanted to see if there was a cause that could be dealt with using meds
After taking the test it was found that I did have the bacterial overgrowth. I was put on a course of antibiotics and then a second course of antibiotics (one was not enough for me) and it felt like I was a different person! I still had pain and some problems but it was clear that the bacteria had been the major cause of my suffering. If you are having these issues and the doctor suggests the test - it is not something to fear. As long as you can comfortable tolerate the meds. you may well find yourself feeling a bit better after finishing a course of the meds.
Good luck - I hope you feel better!
Chocolate, It isn't just for breakfast anymore!
Posted 26 June 2008 - 09:02 AM
Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:58 PM
MintMarigold, did you have to pay for your test?, I was told that it wasn't bulk billed and that it would cost $140.00.
I was also tested for IBS, but all was clear. At the moment I am taking probiotics, I wanted to see whether these helped before going on the antibiotics.
Many thanks everyone
Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:28 PM
I am having the breath test done at a public hospital, I was told that the H.Pylori test is bulk billed. Apparently this test alone does not guarantee a result that shows Bacterial Overgrowth.
My rheumatologist specifically requested that I have the Hydrogen Breath test as this is the only test that guarantees a positive result if I have Bacterial overgrowth. I was told that I wouldn't be bulkbilled for this test.
I was wondering whether you had yours done at a hospital or privately somewhere else?
Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:37 PM
I have not had the breath test but I have the very same bowel problems you do. I would say yes, have the test done.
Don't know if it was coincidence or what (since there seems to be no rhyme or reason to my bowel flares) but when I was put on antibiotics for other things, my bowels behaved.
When my symptoms were really bad (not wanting to leave the house) I tried probiotics and they seemed to help at least a little.
I am sorry you are having to deal with this. No fun at all!
Hang in there kiddo.
Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:58 PM
I have been taking probiotics now for nearly one week and I have to say that it has helped probably 50%.
I will get my antibiotic filled tomorrow morning and see how I go on them.
Mari, thanks for the info but I couldn't get into it. My doctor has ticked on my breath hydrogen test for fructose and lactulose. I did speak to a technician regarding this last week and he did mention that usually the helicobacter pylori test is sometimes used to check for bacteria overgrowth but is not always accurate. I told him what was on my referral from my Gastroenterologist and he mentioned that my doctor would be quite certain that I have bacteria overgrowth for these two tests to be done.
The helicobacter pylori (urea breath test) is bulkbilled at the hospital, but not the other one which I will be having.
Thanks once again everyone