This test will discover up to 90% of IBS patients.
It checks for digestive tract problems that are causing the digested food to not be processed properly.
When we have a problem digesting the food we eat, it gets to the bacteria flora in our gut. They eat it and emit excessive gases that contain Hydrogen and Methane. These gases put pressure on the intestine’s walls and create the IBS syndromes. It is revealed by checking for these gases in the air we exhale.
The gas pressure also injects food particles into the bloodstream. So-called “leaky guts”/”Intestinal permeability”.
These food particles are harmful to the body and it needs to put energy to expel them.
Not all IBS patients can be detected that way. But, this is an easy, non-intrusive, and important test. If you have digestion problems, or you suspect that you have an IBS, then you should take this test.
People with gastrointestinal problems should undergo this test, as it is easy, fast, and can detect many problems. Once a problem factor has been discovered, it can be dealt with in different ways.
Test to reveal hydrogen and methane
The human body does not generate Hydrogen or Methane gases in its chemical operation (“metabolism”).
Hydrogen and Methane are created as a result of anaerobic bacteria metabolism in our intestines. Those bacteria do not use oxygen for their energy operation. They “eat” sugars and produce energy out of it by a chemical reaction that emits these gases.
These gases penetrate through the intestine walls into the bloodstream and are emitted through the lungs as we breathe. We can detect them by taking air samples as we exhale.
The test results come back in several days. And it shows if you have digestive problems or not.
Why should we care about those gases?
Excessive Hydrogen/Methane in our breath indicates that we have a digestion problem.
A digestion problem can lead to many health problems. Unprocessed digested food in our small intestines can ferment, and irritate the small intestine’s walls.
Excessive gas production in the intestines can also lead to several problems.
First, it puts pressure on the intestine’s walls. The pressure causes pain. The pressure can push unwanted digested food into the bloodstream. (“Leaky guts”).
The pressure can prevent the normal flow of food along the intestines. Causing constipation. The body tries to emit the constipated food remains by flooding them in water – causing diarrhea.
All of which are IBS symptoms.
The pressure can also drive the food fast through the Intestines before it was absorbed properly. In the colon, a larger germs population process the sugars and emit further gases. Unlike as in the small intestines, these gases are easily released. As the test takes several hours, the sugar movement through the intestines can be detected and the movement speed can be measured. Sometimes, this test reveals that the sugar is moving in the small intestines into the large intestines too fast. Which causes valuable food components not to be absorbed by the body.
How is this test done?
The test is done by breath exhale samples from the patient. The samples are analyzed for hydrogen/methane existence. The concentrate is measured as parts per million (ppm).
The person is asked to fast for about 12 hours to clean his digestive tract. Then the first sample is taken to be the “base value” reference of the hydrogen level.
The examinee is given gluten – a sugar type to drink and wait for about 30 minutes for it to reach the small intestines. Then a second sample is taken to see if there are bacteria activities in the small intestines.
Additional samples are taken in about 30 minutes intervals. Measurement of bacterial activity resulting from the passage of sugar in the intestines.
This can indicate large bacteria colonies in certain spots in the intestines.
The samples show the bacteria’s activities along the small intestines and in the large intestines. We care especially for the small intestine activities as most of the damages occur there.
The sampling interval shows the bacteria’s activities as the sugar moves in the intestines. Sometimes, a fast movement of the sugar is detected. Indicating that the food does not stay long enough in the small intestines, where the food components are absorbed. In the large intestines, mostly water is absorbed – keeping the feces dry, storing it until it is expelled.
There are some home test kits. But they perform partial tests, so taking the test in a specialized lab is advised.
Why does this digestion problem occur?
There are several root causes for it:
- Improper food – especially milk/dairy products.
- lactose intolerance – the inability to digest milk sugars.
- Gluten intolerance – an inability to digest proteins found in cereal grains.
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Large bacteria colonies that should not have been in the small intestines. (This root cause is often the result of other causes in this list).
- Damage to the small intestines. Preventing them from absorbing nutrients. (Sugars).
- Inflammation in the small intestines. (“Gastroenteritis”).
- A mechanical problem with a valve. There is a valve (“ileocecal valve“) between the small intestine and the large intestine. Which prevents the passage of food (and bacteria) upwards. If this valve is not in proper condition, it allows bacteria to pass into the small intestine and thrive there.
The digestive tract is a dynamic system. Where things in it are in motion. So, eliminating milk from our diet can stop the bacteria from thriving in the small intestines. (In people with lactose intolerance) – eliminating the SIBO – eliminating the gas pressure – eliminating leaky guts – eliminating IBS.
Sometimes it is not just milk, and we might need to check our diet to find the culprit. In the “Preventing IBS” booklet we bring potential root causes and procedures to detect which root causes are impacting your body. Once you reveal what root causes your IBS, you can read on ways to avoid it.