We want to determine your iron and vitamin D level. If you have had a recent ferritin and vitamin D level then bring those results in with you. If not, we can draw the blood in our lab. It is essential that we treat iron deficiency even if it is in the low normal range. We have an infusion center on our office if intravenous iron is needed. Finally as we are also gastroenterologists we are able to perform diagnostic testing for iron deficiency.
A simple home test kit will tell you if an alternative treatment is a reasonable choice for you. Breath tests have been available since 1975. However, home testing is a recent medical development.
The relatively simple breath test utilizes two teaspoons of lactulose (10 grams of Kristalose) which comes in a packet to be mixed into 1 cup of water and ingested. Lactulose is a sugar that is not absorbed by the gut. Lactulose is fermented by intestinal bacteria, and the hydrogen and methane that these bacteria generate is absorbed into the blood and released by the lungs. By analyzing the amount and timing of gas in the breath, a diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can be determined.
Lactulose is most often prescribed as a laxative. Temporary side effects include diarrhea, gas, and abdominal cramping. Because lactulose is not absorbed, it will not affect diabetics.
Our breath test lab charges a fee for the analysis, materials and test interpretation, which is generally billed through your insurance company. There are 2 sites where you can see how the breath test is performed:
The day before a Lactulose Breath Test
- For one week stay off antibiotics and probiotic capsules
- On the day prior to the test, you can have eggs, oatmeal, meat, fresh veggies, white rice, dairy products, and fresh fruit. You can have regular sugar, Sweet and Low, Equal and Stevia. See other page for diet.
- Do not have high fiber cereal, whole wheat bread, bean, nuts, soy products, prepared food/drinks with fructose corn syrup, Splenda, and Sorbitol or other artificial alcohol sugars used in chewing gum or candy.
- Do not have a heavy, rich dinner. Do not smoke after midnight on the day of the test or until the test is over.
- No food after 7pm and you have water till midnight, nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- In the morning, do not have breakfast. Please brush your teeth and take your normal medications.