How SIBO Breath Test used to Diagnose Bacterial Overgrowth in Small Intestine

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth can be very harmful if not diagnosed early. The reason behind a bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal region can be anything from diverticulitis to neurological and muscular diseases. Due to the inadequate movement of the intestinal muscles, the digested food cannot pass to the large intestine properly. This is why, the natural bacterial flora, present in the larger intestinal zones, can be seen flourishing in the small intestine. The diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can lead to a more complicated problem. Sometimes, due to irritable bowel syndrome or fasting, the bacteria migrate and start feeding on the remaining glucose available in the small intestine. The best way to identify bacterial overgrowth is via a SIBO Breath Test.

sibo breath test

The process of breath test

The bacteria produce hydrogen or methane while consuming glucose, lactose, etc. During a breath test, the concentration of these gases is measured and compared with the permissible line. Depending on the contemporary level, the diagnosis is done. The SIBO Breath Test is of two different types.

Lactulose breath test

Lactulose can only be digested by a particular strain of bacteria present in our gut. A patient is fed with a lactulose drink. If he is lactulose intolerant or suffering from bacterial overgrowth in the distal part of small intestine, he will produce a copious amount of hydrogen or methane.

Glucose breath test

Glucose is absorbed within the first one meter of the small intestine. If bacterial overgrowth is present in the latter portion then it can be easily identified with the elevated amount of methane or hydrogen in the breath of the individual.

Non-invasive test for SIBO

SIBO Breath Test is the most secure non-invasive test to learn more about a bacterial overgrowth. On diagnosis, further steps can be taken. The test takes one to three hours but does not involve any painful procedure.

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Things About Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Varieties of bacteria are found in the large intestine normally. The problem occurs when these strains are found in the small intestinal zones. Due to the improper migrating motor complex (MMC), digested food is not properly swiped down by the small intestine causing an abnormal increase in the formation of bacteria in the small intestine. Often, due to fasting this type of bacterial overgrowth occurs. The bacterial flora grows rapidly and feeds on the carbohydrates very fast. Due to this process, hydrogen and methane are produced in amounts above the baseline. This is called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.

sibo

Cause behind SIBO

As mentioned earlier, SIBO occurs when digested food is not properly passed down to the large intestine. Due to diabetes and scleroderma affect the involuntary movements of the muscles in the gut. Often, physical obstructions such as surgery scars, diverticulitis, etc can also hinder the free movement of the muscles.

Signs of SIBO

The possible signs of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are mentioned below.

  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Cramp and/or pain in the abdominal area
  • Constipation (less common)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Specific food intolerances for gluten, lactose, casein, fructose, etc.
  • Chronic diseases like fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, neuromuscular disorders, etc.
  • Deficiency of vitamins and minerals
  • Mal-absorption of fat

Tests for SIBO

The best way to find out SIBO as per location is via the breath test. It is a non-invasive test where a patient is fed with a specific amount of glucose or lactose. If the gut bacteria are present in the small intestinal region then the amount of hydrogen or methane produced will be higher than the normal level. Assessing the gas concentration, SIBO can be diagnosed. The test takes only a few hours and the patient does not have to suffer any kind of invasive procedure.

Digestive Health and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

You all know the importance of having a good digestive health and the discomfort caused when it’s worse. Bacteria play a major role in the health of your body. Needless to say, there are good bacteria and bad ones too. Bacteria, when at the right location in the body, play their role perfectly and when moved, might cause problems. They highly influence the metabolism and bowel movements. The bad bacteria from the large intestine when moved to the small intestine, causes Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It’s abbreviated as SIBO. Bad bacteria in small amounts do no harm, but in large amounts blocks the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients. The Small Intestine Overgrowth Breath Testing helps you diagnose for Bacterial overgrown in the small Intestine reliably.

Symptoms for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Nausea or acid reflux
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Headache
  • Food Sensitivity
  • Asthma
  • Belching
  • Pain in the Joints
  • Various skin problems (eczema, acne, etc.)

The small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth shares many symptoms with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Due to this reason alone, it’s difficult to differentiate between the conditions. The detection of these conditions becomes harder because of the overlapping symptoms. The Small Intestine Overgrowth Breath Testing takes care of it easily through its easy ways of diagnosing.

How does the SIBO Test works?

The two gases, in particular, that body does not produce include methane and hydrogen. The bacteria produce them. The person that suffers through Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth has these gases in their breath. After the bacteria move from large to small intestine the overgrown bacteria produce these gases. A small intestine is a place where nutrients get absorbed by the body and go into the bloodstream. The Small Intestine Overgrowth Breath Testing utilizes this information for the detection of these gases in your breath. If found, it’s proved that the condition of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth exists in your body.

Conclusion

Upon the intake of fiber, your constipation worsens; Probiotics promote bloating and gas; Indication of low iron in the bloodstream. If you notice these conditions in your body, it points to the presence of SIBO. To confirm the presence of this condition and to avoid yourself further pain, it’s imperative to take this test. This test proves to be the easiest and reliable way to detect SIBO in your body. The Small Intestine Overgrowth Breath Testing might not cure the condition,  but it’s an important step towards a cure.

Symptoms and Causes of Estrogen Dominance

Any hormone in man’s or woman’s body should be produced in an adequate amount. Too less hormones result in hormone deficiency and too much hormones lead to hormone dominance. Both deficiency and dominance result into health problems. In this article, we are going to cover the dominance of a primary female sex hormone ‘estrogen’. A good number of women are suffering from estrogen dominance.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

Usually, women in their thirties and forties suffer from estrogen dominance. Both the body and brain are stimulated due to estrogen dominance. This causes the symptoms illustrated of the following table:

Lack of sex drive Fibrocystic breasts
Bloating (water retention) Hair loss
Irregular or abnormal menstrual periods Headache especially pre-menstrual headache
Breast swelling and tenderness Depression, irritability and mood swing problems
Cold feet and hands Weight and/or fat gain around hips and abdomen
Memory loss and foggy thinking Thyroid dysfunction
Fatigue Sluggish metabolism
(PMS) Premenstrual symptoms Trouble in sleeping/insomnia

Apart from the above symptoms, estrogen dominance is also linked to other health issues including breast cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, allergies, uterine cancer, autoimmune disorder and increased blood clotting. Estrogen dominance also accelerates aging. However, some other conditions also show the same symptoms. Therefore, you should visit saliva testing labs for the diagnosis of estrogen dominance.

Causes of Estrogen Dominance

During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen dominates for a fortnight leading up to ovulation. Progesterone during the last fortnight balances estrogen. Following are the symptoms estrogen dominance:

  • Obesity
  • Stress results into overproduction of cortisol, norepinephrine and insulin. This can cause adrenal exhaustion. This can also disturb the overall hormone balance.
  • Impaired immune function
  • Environmental agents
  • Eating low fiber diet with high refined carbohydrates can cause estrogen dominance. High quality fat and diet with low nutrients can also be a cause of estrogen dominance.

How to control estrogen dominance

  • Switch to a diet with high potency mineral/multivitamin combination.
  • Switch to a hormone balancing diet consisting of adequate protein, lots of vegetables and fruits, and healthy fat.
  • Get enough fiber.
  • Exercise regularly and burn the extra body fat.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol and caffeine to detoxify your liver.
  • Reduce stress

Reducing stress and eating a healthy diet can help in controlling excess estrogen in the body. If you feel that something is wrong with your menstrual cycle, take it seriously and visit one of the saliva testing labs for diagnosis.

Six Signs of Digestive Issues Due To SIBO

Food is one of the basic needs of human. However, the food can serve your needs of energy only when it is digested properly. The digestion of the food is started right from the mouth. Every organ in the digestive system has an important role to play in the digestion process. Digestive system organs secrete special enzymes for breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients. Small intestine and large intestine are two of these digestive system organs. And, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition associated with small and large intestines. More than 50% of the patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome also suffer from SIBO.

SIBO occurs when the bacteria from the colon (large intestine) is migrated into the small intestine. This condition is diagnosed with Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test. The bacteria in the small intestine (small bowel) are overgrown due to poor enzyme production by the pancreas or low stomach acid. This causes symptoms including bloating, diarrhea or gas.

Six Signs That Tell That Your Digestive Problems Are Due to SIBO

  1. Your constipation is worsened when you eat more fiber.
  2. Taking antibiotics improves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  3. Symptoms of celiac or gluten intolerance are not 100% resolved even when you are on a gluten-free diet.
  4. Taking probiotics containing prebiotics increase bloating and gas.
  5. Taking opiates or other pain medications can also develop chronic symptoms of constipation, gas, diarrhea or bloating.
  6. Blood test shows low iron in the blood.

Top 6 Symptoms of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

  1. Abdominal pain or distention
  2. Constipation
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Abdominal bloating and distension
  5. Excessive gas or belching
  6. Acid reflux or heartburn

Striking Out Leaky Gut

Small intestine bowel overgrowth causes local GI symptoms. On the other hand, leaky gut affects the entire immune system. One can suffer from both conditions simultaneously. Having SIBO for a longer period is likely to develop leaky gut.

50% of the patients having SIBO are also diagnosed with leaky gut. Most of the times, leaky gut is healed itself with the treatment of SIBO.

Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test

Bacterial overgrowth breath test is used for diagnosing small intestine bacterial growth. Bacteria in the small intestine produce hydrogen which is exhaled in the breath. Lactulose Breath Test checks the amount of hydrogen in the breath. If the amount of hydrogen in the breath is more than normal then the patient is suffering from SIBO. Sometimes, urinary organic acid analysis and comprehensive stool analysis is also required.

If you are having some digestive system problems with the symptoms of SIBO, see a doctor for Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test.

Woman Health – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the common problems caused due to hormone imbalance in women. This syndrome causes problems with periods. Getting pregnant becomes difficult when you are suffering from this syndrome. Delays in the treatment of this syndrome can cause other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This syndrome gets its name polycystic due to the growth of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts cause the hormone imbalance. However, the symptoms of this syndrome can be controlled for long-term.

Hormones trigger some specific processes in the body. Some examples of hormone imbalance due to PCOS are:

Sex Hormone Imbalance

Ovaries produce a little amount of androgens – a male sex hormone. Ovaries of a woman suffering from this syndrome produce more androgens. This can interrupt ovulating, grow extra body hair and acne.

Insulin Resistance

This syndrome affects the ability of the body to use insulin well. This increases the blood sugar level which further increases the risk of diabetes.

Causes of PCOS

Causes of this syndrome are still to be fully understood. However, genetics is a common factor. Therefore, this syndrome runs into families.

Symptoms of PCOS

The initial symptoms of this syndrome are mild. Following are the common symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

  • Increasing weight and problem in losing weight
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Extra body hair including facial hair
  • Thinning hair on scalp
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Deeper voice
  • Depression
  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Here is how a doctor diagnoses PCOS:

  • The doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the patient, menstrual cycles and other symptoms.
  • The doctor will do a number of tests like hormone testing to check insulin, blood sugar and other hormone levels. These tests will rule out other problems causing similar symptoms. Cysts on ovaries are diagnosed with ultrasound.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Healthy diet suggested by the doctor, regular exercise and weight control can minimize the unpleasant symptoms.

  • Walking is the best exercise. Also, try moderate and vigorous physical activity.
  • Eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, nuts and other heart-healthy foods. Avoid fried and cheeses foods and meat.
  • Losing even 4.5 kg of your weight will regulate the menstrual cycle and also get normal hormone balance.
  • Smoking increases androgen level in the body. Therefore, quit smoking.

Visit a doctor for hormone testing if you experience these symptoms.

Lactose Intolerance – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which body cannot digest milk and dairy products. In the terms of biology, the body cannot digest lactose (a natural sugar in milk and dairy products). This is not a food allergy to milk. It is a different condition. This happens when lactose moves through the colon without proper digestion. Bloating, gas and belly pain are common symptoms of lactose intolerance. This condition is common among native African, Asian and South American adults. However, this condition is less common in European adults.

This condition is diagnosed using Lactose Hydrogen Breath Test. Milk and dairy products cause this problem. People suffering from this condition have to make some adjustments in their diets. This helps in avoiding discomfort. And, this also helps in getting enough calcium.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Small intestine produces an enzyme called lactose. This enzyme breaks down and digests lactose (milk and dairy products). Sometimes small intestine does not produce an adequate amount of lactose. This condition usually runs in families. Symptoms of this condition are experienced in teen or adult years. Small intestine stops producing lactase due to some short-term disease like stomach flu.

Similarly, lifelong diseases like cystic fibrosis can also cause small intestine stop producing lactase. In some cases, small intestine stops making lactase when a part of the intestine is removed surgically. This condition can be either temporary or permanent.

Cases are rare, but some newborns are born with lactose intolerance. They cannot eat any food with lactose. This condition is temporarily developed in premature babies. Once the small intestine starts producing lactase, the baby can digest lactose (milk and dairy products).

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Depending on the amount of lactase produced by the intestine, this condition can be mild to severe. Symptoms of the lactose intolerance include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Rumbling or gurgling sound in belly
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Throwing up

Diagnosis and Treatment

Avoid milk and dairy products for several days. If you stop experiencing symptoms of lactose intolerance, start adding milk and dairy products in your diet. If symptoms of lactose intolerance come back, you are likely to suffer from this condition. You should visit a doctor for lactose hydrogen breath test. when you visit a doctor, he will ask some questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. Blood sugar test or lactose hydrogen breath test confirms lactose intolerance. This condition cannot be cured. You can control symptoms by avoiding foods causing this problem. Some dietary supplements can help in digesting lactose products.

Everything You Need To Know About SIBO

Being an essential part of our small bowel, bacteria perform various important functions. However, bacterial overgrowth in small bowel can cause several symptoms such as leaky guts. The small bowel connects large bowel and the stomach. The length of normal small bowel is 20 feet long. The number of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract varies. However, it is present throughout the tract.

The number of bacteria living in the small bowel is way less than the number of bacteria in the colon or large bowel. And, bacteria present in the colon are completely different from the bacteria living in the small bowel.

Bacteria in small bowel provide protection from ingested yeast and bad bacteria. The bacteria help in absorbing nutrients and also produce vitamin K, folate and a few more important nutrients. The bacteria also help in normal small bowel muscle activity. The movement of intestinal content depends on the small bowel bacteria. However, overgrowth of the bacteria is not good for the health of the small bowel.

Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO Breath Test helps in diagnosing Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth. In this condition, the number of bacteria in the small bowel is increased. Apart from this, the type of bacteria might or might not be changed. In most of the cases, this condition is caused due to overgrowth of different types of bacteria. These bacteria are usually found in the colon. SIBO due to overgrowth of small bowel’s normal bacteria is less common.

Damage Caused by SIBO

  • SIBO affects the function and structure of the small bowel.
  • It damages the small bowel cell lining which affects the digestion and also the absorption of essential nutrients.
  • Damage to cell lining causes leaky gut.
  • Large molecules due to leaky guts enter the bloodstream and cause complications like autoimmune disease, food allergies or sensitivities, generalized inflammation and other immune reactions.

Common Symptoms of SIBO

If you experience one or more than one of the following symptoms then you should visit a doctor for SIBO Breath Test.

  • Abdominal discomfort/pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and abdominal distention
  • Belching and gas
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Symptoms of vitamin deficiencies

SIBO Risk Factors

SIBO Breath Test helps in diagnosing SIBO. The risk factors of SIBO include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Prior bowel surgery
  • Multiple courses of antibiotics
  • Organ system dysfunction

SIBO breath test on time helps in controlling and treating small intestinal bowel overgrowth. Therefore,

Woman Health – Female Hormone Imbalance Test

Proportional levels of hormones keep different systems of our body stable. Some hormones individually trigger an individual system and some hormones interact to trigger one or more than one systems. The entire system is adversely affected even when single a hormone is produced in excess or in a lesser amount. Hormone deficiency or excess can cause disorders and chronic symptoms. Imbalance of some hormones also increases disease risk.

For example, ovaries produce many hormones in women’s body. Estrogen and progesterone interact to control the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. Imbalance in these hormones can result in menstrual irregularities, breast diseases, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Hormone imbalance test helps in finding the cause of hormone imbalance.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Women

Following symptoms can help a woman in the self evaluation of hormone imbalance. She should visit a medical professional for the hormone test.

Acne or oily skin

 

Bloating

 

Decreased fertility

 

Weight gain

 

Bone loss

 

Tender or fibrocystic breasts

 

Depression

 

Vaginal dryness

 

Urinary incontinence

 

Excess facial and body hair

 

Poor concentration Sleep disturbances

 

Hot flashes

 

Night sweats Nervousness
Mood swings

 

Low libido

 

Heavy or painful periods

 

Loss of scalp hair

 

Memory lapses

 

Loss of muscle mass

 

Irritability

 

Irregular periods

 

Table: Symptoms Female Hormone Imbalance

There are adrenal glands just above kidneys. These small glands produce three steroid hormones including mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), glucocorticoids (cortisol) and androgens (DHEA/DHEAS). Cortisol is essential for the body to respond to daily stress. It also maintains blood sugar level and also boosts the immune system. Aldosterone is responsible for maintaining water and salt level. Androgen is a major source of DHEA in both genders.

Adrenal glands also produce testosterone in women. When adrenal glands are not secreting these hormones in adequate amount, a woman is likely to suffer from blood sugar irregularities, nervous system disorder, immune system disorder, body composition difficulties and high androgen.

Hormone test is the initial step to determine which hormone has gone out of balance. Saliva hormone test is the most reliable method for the hormone test. A woman can make use of hormone saliva test kit to take a saliva sample. Women can read our recent article to know How to Use a Hormone Saliva Test Kit for Saliva Test.  These saliva samples are then shipped to a medical professional for hormone imbalance test. It is important to achieve optimal hormone balance. When a woman experiences the symptoms illustrated in the table she should visit a clinic for the hormone test. She can also buy a saliva test kit to collect samples for hormone imbalance test.

How to Use a Hormone Saliva Test Kit for Saliva Test

Hormone saliva testing is more reliable than others.

The saliva test is noninvasive and easy testing for assessing the level of hormone. This testing is more accurate and precise. And, it is easy too. However, the accuracy not only depends on the testing method, improper collection of saliva can result in inaccurate readings. Therefore, it is important to collect the best sample. Many individuals are using home hormone saliva test kit for collecting saliva. These kits are pretty easy to use if the user follows following guidelines:

Preparation

Wash and dry your hands. Remove food residue by rinsing mouth with water. It is important to avoid sample dilution. Therefore, collect the sample after 10 minutes. Here is what to do the night before collecting a sample. Wash face and avoid lotions or any other cream before going to bed. Next morning, wait for 30 minutes after doing dental work. Don’t eat anything before taking a sample. Take sample 30 minutes after awakening.

Remember, food particles, bleeding due to dental work and lotions and creams contaminate the sample.

Collecting Saliva Sample 

Use straws to collect saliva in tubes. Most of the hormone saliva test kits consist of four tubes. ¾ of the each tube should be filled with the sample. Foam or bubbles in the sample are not going to affect the accuracy of the test. Don’t forget to dispose of straws before you ship the sample.

Timing

Medical professionals need four samples for an accurate saliva test. This is the reason why a hormone saliva test kit consists of four tubes.

Take a tube and take the first sample half an hour after awakening. Don’t eat and don’t brush. Collect the second sample in the second tube before lunch. Take the third sample in the third tube before dinner. Take the fourth sample in the fourth tube one hour after dinner.

You can also find a form in the hormone saliva test kit. Provide complete accurate details in the form. These details include personal details, menstrual history (women patient only), sex, time of sample collection and more. The kit also consists of symptoms questionnaire. Also provide details of hormone therapy (if any). Tubes should be snapped tightly. Seal the form and sample in a box. Choose the fastest shipping method. Secure everything in a sealed box. It is not mandatory to keep the sample in the freezer before shipping. Your sample should be shipped to a lab in less than 10 days.