We finally have a way of testing for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and intestinal methanogen overgrowth (IMO) right here in our office! We’ve recently acquired the Quintron BreathTracker earlier this fall and have since processed well over 100 breath tests. This has been such a game changer for both practitioners and patients who suspect SIBO or IMO as underlying causes of their symptoms. For those who aren’t familiar with SIBO, it is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine where there should be relatively low amounts of it. IMO refers to methane production which is usually produced by archaea. Left untreated, these conditions can cause long term gastrointestinal upset and more.
How does the Quintron detect SIBO? The patient is given a sugar containing solution (lactulose) to drink which is meant to feed any pre-existing bacteria or archaea in the small intestine which then ferment and release hydrogen and/or methane gas, respectively. The quintron is able to detect these gases from a patient’s breath sample and report back a numerical value. All the patient has to do is blow in a bag every 20 to 30 minutes for three hours (we recommend you bring a good book or something to keep you entertained if you do this in our office).
Prior to acquiring the Quintron, patients had to pay out of pocket for a SIBO test, which they would then need to ship out to a third party facility and wait to hear back regarding the results. Patients are now able to directly pick up the test kit in our office to complete at home, or come into the office and sit in our cozy IV lounge to complete this 3 hour test. When completed and dropped off, take home kits are processed in the order they were received and the results are released to the ordering physician immediately. If completing the test in office, you will receive an un-official interpretation of the results which you will then need to follow up with your provider regarding a thorough explanation of your results. Retesting after treatment for SIBO is easier and more cost effective than ever and is also a great way to track treatment progress.