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Heartland Regional Gastroenterology Clinic Introduces New Non-Invasive Test To Diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Nov 18, 2020

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the intestine. It can cause cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, IBS affects 25-45 million people in the United States, but few seek medical care for their symptoms. That’s why Heartland Regional Medical Group – Gastroenterology is introducing hydrogen breath testing, a new, non-invasive test to make it easier to diagnose symptomatic patients with IBS.

The hydrogen breath test is used to assess various digestive disorders including bloating and diarrhea, predominant IBS symptoms. Offering hydrogen breath testing can be valuable in helping diagnose patients who have overlooked intolerances to lactose or have a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

The breath test is a simple and painless process. During the test, the patient is given a solution of lactose, fructose, sucrose or glucose in water. After drinking the solution, the patient will breathe into a plastic bag.

We collect breath samples every 15 minutes for adults and every 30 minutes for children.

We have found these tests to be quite useful in treating patients with gas and bloating and IBS. They allow us to place patients on accurate and specific diet plans, in addition to treatment, targeting excess bacteria. Patients are very appreciative of being able to identify which foods cause their adverse symptoms, which subsequently leads to a more free diet.

If you experience recurring constipation or diarrhea associated with bothersome abdominal discomfort and/or bloating, you may have a treatable medical condition called SIBO. People experiencing discomfort associated with IBS should consult with their doctor or a gastrointestinal specialist to evaluate symptoms.

Heartland Regional Medical Group is following all CDC-recommended infection prevention protocols throughout the hospital and associated clinics. We’re taking these safety measures:

  • COVID-19 screenings for all employees, visitors, and patients
  • Social distancing is in effect in all waiting areas
  • Designated care areas for non-COVID-19 patients
  • Enhanced disinfecting procedures