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Breath test anyone?


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#1 summer

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:21 PM

I was wondering whether any one has had a Hydrogen - Breath Test to rule out Bacteria overgrowth in the stomach/bowels?. I saw a new Gastroenterologist at the hospital last week as I have been having problems with my bowels. I am fine for 3 days then I am in the toilet for up to 20 times in the morning with my bowels.
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.

Take care
Celia

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:03 AM

Ced,
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.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:16 AM

Hi Celia,

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.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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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.

#4 annkd

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:56 AM

Celia - You are me! I have been living in your shoes. I go for a colonoscopy on Wednesday. My rheumatologist put me on Cipro (antibiotic) a few weeks ago and it helped alot. I am very interested in the "breath test". I will ask my doctor about that. hang in there and let us know how you are doing. -Ann

#5 CFMBabs

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 10:32 AM

I had a breath test some years ago. They kept me at the hospital all day, I went in the morning and they gave me a drink of some sort, I think it was slightly radio active, then I had to drink water, lot's of it.
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?
Best wishes
Barbara xxx

#6 smurfette

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 01:34 PM

Hi,
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!
Smurfette

Chocolate, It isn't just for breakfast anymore!

#7 GocartMoz

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 09:02 AM

I have been on a 2 week rotating course of 3 different antibiotics for bacterial overgrowth, for over 6 months now. Frankly it has not resolved my issues. Nonetheless, my doctors want me to stay on these meds long term. Don't get me wrong, my predicament would probably be worse without the meds, but they havn't resolved my issues to the extent I am satisfied. I havn't been diagnosed with IBS, but I am wondering if maybe that is the culprit. I have an appt. with my Gastro doctor in July and I will talk to him about the breath test.

#8 summer

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies, all I have to do now is book the test.

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
Celia :)

#9 summer

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:28 PM

Hi Mari,
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?

Many thanks
Celia

#10 barefut

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:37 PM

Ced,

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.

#11 summer

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies to my post, I am glad that I am not alone in this.
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
Celia