Uses of Lactulose Hydrogen Breath Test

Hydrogen breath test or HBT is very useful for diagnosing patients suffering from carbohydrate intolerance, such as lactose and fructose malabsorption, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). As such HBT is challenging the quantitative culture of jejuna aspirate methodology, typically employed for diagnosing SIBO. This is primarily because of the non-invasive nature of HBT. Also, HBT is far simpler than that of quantitative culture of jejuna aspirate methodology used as the gold standard for diagnosing SIBO.

There are two types of HBT, glucose hydrogen breath test and Lactulose Hydrogen Breath Test. The uses of HBT are stated in the following section.

Uses

There are three main purposes for which a glucose or lactulose hydrogen breath test can be used. These are:

Fructose Malabsorption

For checking a patient for Fructose Malabsorption, first of all a base reading of hydrogen levels in the breath is collected. Then a small amount of fructose is given to the patient. Subsequent readings are taken every 15, 30 or 60 minutes gap for about 2 to 3 hours. The test is based on the fact that when the given sugar, fructose, is failed to be absorbed by the patient, then the bacteria metabolize and gives off either methane or hydrogen indicative of the patient’s inability to absorb fructose.

Lactose Malabsorption

Lactulose hydrogen breath test is used for checking a patient for Lactose Malabsorption. Before starting the test, a base reading of hydrogen levels in the patient breath is collected. Thereafter, the patient is given about 20-25 grams pure lactose. Recordings are then collected every 15, 30 or 60 minutes interval for about 2 to 3 hours. The final results could suggest one of the three things:

siboThe patient is a lactose malabasorber if the hydrogen levels of the lactulose hydrogen breath test comes out to be more than 20 ppm (parts per million)

The patient is not a lactose malabsorber but prone to Lactose Malabsorption if the patient produces methane levels above 12 ppm

The patient is healthy if the patient produces both good levels of hydrogen and methane with a mean value of over 15 ppm.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

 

Also known as small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SBBOS), the patient suffering from SIBO is either given a challenge dose of dextrose (a type of glucose) or lactulose, 75 to 100 grams and 10 grams respectively. The first baseline breath sample is collected immediately, while subsequent samples are collected for 3 to 5 hours with regular intervals of 15 to 20 minutes.
sibo-head-textPatients that produce about 20 ppm of hydrogen and/or methane in the first 2 hours, followed by a much larger peak afterwards is considered a positive diagnosis for a lactulose hydrogen breath test. The response is also known as a biphasic pattern. As lactulose is not absorbed by the digestive system, it can determine the distal end bacterial overgrowth. Further treatment is based on the results of the lactulose hydrogen breath test.

 

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3 Popular Types of Female Hormone Test

Introduction

Hormone balance is very important for maintaining a good level of health in women across all age groups. There are several types of female hormone test that helps in assessing whether a female has the right levels of various hormones or not. Out of the various options, following list enumerates 3 of the most popular types of female hormone tests:

hormoe-test-kits in biohealthlab

Saliva Testing

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular forms of hormone testing in females is the saliva testing. Available to physicians for almost a decade now, saliva testing has been consistently used in clinical research for over 3 decades. Moreover, several health insurance companies like Medicare allow reimbursement options to those on tight budgets.

With several years of research and clinical practice combines, saliva testing has been established as the most accurate measurement of Cortisol, DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Several clinics and medical institutions rely on saliva testing for successfully carrying out an accurate female hormone test.

Hormone Saliva testing

However, saliva testing is not much helpful in cases where women take hormones in a transmucosal or sublingual form. This is because these forms of hormone delivery increase the hormonal levels in the salivary glands, which results in saliva levels too high than the original hormonal levels.

Serum/Blood Testing

Another effective and famous method of female hormone test is serum or blood testing. A blood sample from the women under hormone testing is drawn,and a portion of the sample is used for measuring various hormone levels. Most of the serum tests measure the level of free hormone, the level of total hormone or a combination of the two.

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages of serum testing. For instance, the results of serum testing are often inconsistent. Especially, when the value indicated falls in the low-normal range. Moreover, blood testing is less helpful for monitoring women using transdermal forms of hormone intakes.

 

Blood Testing

Different serum hormone tests define the normal, or healthy, therange of hormones distinctively, which is one of their leading disadvantages. In several scenarios, women may confound why they continue to experience the symptoms of hormone imbalance even when the test results show normal levels of hormones.

FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) Testing

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone or FSH is yet another type of female hormone test. This type of hormone testing procedure is primarily used for determining the hormonal status of premenopausal women experiencing hot flashes and mood changes. Though in some cases only one blood sample is collected, usually the blood sample is drawn 3 times.

If a hormonal imbalance is detected post an FSH test, then steps are taken immediately to correct the imbalance. This can significantly help in relieving faster from unwanted symptoms and prevent progression to certain diseases.

FSH-test

The FSH test, howsoever, can’t be used as a precise measure of sex steroid hormone production or as an indication of the reproductive status. This is because the levels of FSH fluctuates greatly during the decade before menopause.

Stool Analysis Test: Tips for Collecting and Understanding of Results

A stool test is a means of analyzing the fecal matter in order to diagnose the presence or absence of some specific medical conditions. Many times, patients suffering from persistent stomach problems are prescribed for a stool analysis test by doctors. However, there are several other symptoms that make doctors recommend the test. These are:

  • Diarrhea lasting for several days
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Throwing up

In addition to those mentioned above, a concerned doctor might be more involved when:

  • You are having a weakened immune system functions
  • You have eaten contaminated food or water
  • You have travelled outside the country or away from your hometown
  • Symptoms are severe in intensity

stool analysis test

The Stool Test Sample

Doctor will provide you a special container to bring a sample of your poop for diagnosis. Sometimes, an additional urine sample might also be required along with a sample of your feces. Containers given for collecting the sample might come with a label highlighting your name and date of birth.

Tips While Collecting Sample for a Stool Analysis Test

Follow these tips while collecting a sample of your poop for the stool test:

  • Don’t Use your Hands – You need to use a disposable small spoon or a spatula to place the poop sample inside the container.
  • Don’t Overfill the Container – It’s not a good idea to overfill the container with poop because only a small amount of poop, resembling the size of a walnut is required.
  • Ensure the Poop Doesn’t touch the Inner Surface of the Toilet – If your poop touch the inner surface of the toilet then it could pick up additional germs that might not belong to you.
  • Place the Container inside a sealed plastic Bag – Once you’ve successfully filled the container with you poop, place it inside a plastic bag and seal it.
  • Use something to catch your Poop – If your stool isn’t watery or loose then you could also spread some newspaper or plastic wrap over the toiler rim.
  • Wash your Hands Properly–After you’ve successfully collected the poop sample, wash your hands properly with soap and clean water.

How Long you Need to Wait?

Once you deposit your sample to the lab, it is smeared inside a dedicated plate. It helps in the growth of bacteria to be identified, if any, later. Later, it is observed by placing it under a microscope. Typically, you might need to wait for 1 or 2 days for getting the results of the stool analysis test.

What the Results Mean?

The results of your stool test can be one of the any two mentioned below:

  1. Negative – This means that the test is perfectly normal. No germs were found in the poop and you are free from any kind of infection.
  2. Positive – Your feces is infected by some kind of germ, bacteria or virus. Prescription will be based on the type of infection.

 

6 Most-Used Female Hormone Saliva Test Kit Types

Introduction to the Hormone Saliva Test Kit

Even though there are several ways to measure female hormones, the preferred way of doing so is by means of saliva. Inspecting hormonal levels using an apt hormone saliva test kit assists in assessing present level of hormones as well as checking whether the hormone balancing regimen is working or not.

Now, distinct types of hormone saliva test kit helps in determining different types of female hormones. As a matter of fact, there are several of them used for diagnosing hormonal levels in different medical conditions. Here is the list of 6 most commonly used hormonal saliva test kits for measuring female hormones.

hormoe test kit

  1. Saliva Profile I

    Used early in the morning, saliva profile I hormone saliva test kit helps in assessing most important adrenal and sex hormones. It helps in assessing 5 hormones, which are:

  • AM (morning) Cortisol (C1)
  • DHEA-S (DS)
  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Progesterone (Pg)
  • Testosterone (T)

2. Saliva Profile II

Used most notably for assessing adrenal function, saliva profile II test provides insights into all 5 hormones provided by saliva profile I, in addition to one more hormone. Various hormones analyzed by saliva profile II hormone saliva test kit are:

  • AM (morning) Cortisol (C1)
  • DHEA-S (DS)
  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Progesterone (Pg)
  • PM (night) Cortisol
  • Testosterone (T)

3. Saliva Profile III

Saliva profile III provides the most comprehensive assessment of the various adrenal and sex hormones. The test, most notably, adds 3 Cortisol tests in order to provide complete evaluation of the diurnal adrenal function. Various hormones assessed by saliva profile III test are:

  • AM (morning) Cortisol (C1)
  • DHEA-S (DS)
  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Evening Cortisol (C3)
  • Noon Cortisol (C2)
  • Progesterone (Pg)
  • PM (night) Cortisol
  • Testosterone (T)

4. Estrogen Dominance

In the medical condition of Estrogen Dominance, estrogen levels are much higher than what they should be in relative to the progesterone levels. The estrogen dominance hormone saliva test kit assists in evaluating hormones:

  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Progesterone (Pg)

Estradiol (E2) is the most potent estrogen found in the human body. In addition to measuring the levels of estrogen hormones, Estrogen Dominance test also provides important ratio-based relation between estradiol and progesterone.

5. Hormone Trio

Hormone Trio hormone saliva test kit helps in assessing major reproductive hormones in females as well as men. The relative ratio of each of the three hormones evaluated by Hormone Trio test is critical to the human health. The three reproductive hormones assessed by the saliva test are:

  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Progesterone (Pg)
  • Testosterone (T)

home-hormone-saliva-test-kit

6. AM/PM Cortisol

The AM/PM Cortisol hormone saliva test kit is commonly used for diagnosing hormonal imbalance in females suffering from morning or evening fatigue, situational stress, or sleep disorders. The hormones evaluated by the saliva test are:

  • AM (Morning) Cortisol (C1)
  • PM (Night) Cortisol (C4)

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.

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.