Getting closer to an answer?

Well, I finally feel like we may be making some progress on helping my daughter. She has suffered with constipation and stomach aches for most of her little life. At times it has been very bad, with her doubled over crying for hours.
We have seen many doctors and had many tests, all with no results that explained what is going on. She has had an egd, ph probe, many blood tests and on and on. About 5 years ago I asked if they would do a test for SIBO, which is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, but was told that her symptoms didn't fit so no, they would not test for it. I trusted the doctor, I moved on.
Last year I brought up her stomach aches again with her pcp and was told that she had all the tests possible and we would probably have to find out what the problem is on our own with diet. I had almost given up. (WHAT IS SIBO?)

 Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers to a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria are present in the small intestine, while the types of bacteria found in the small intestine are more like the bacteria found in the colon.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is also known as small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SBBOS).

Well, this year, we have different insurance so we had a different pediatrician. Again I brought up her stomach aches, she asked if we would like to touch base with a GI doctor one more time. I thought about it and said sure, but asked that we see a different one than we had seen before so we could have a fresh set of eyes on the situation.
 A few weeks later, we saw a gastroenterologist. She went over my daughters history, and we talked about putting her back on meds for her constipation and I tried one more time to ask about SIBO. She said she didn't think that was the answer, but agreed to do the test anyway if I wanted her to. So I said yes, let's do it, if nothing else, we can rule it out and I will finally give up looking for an answer.

Well, yesterday we had the test done! She had a hydrogen breath test.

Hydrogen breath test (HBT)

Bacteria that live in the colon are capable of digesting and using sugars and carbohydrates as food. When the bacteria normally present in the colon digest sugars and carbohydrates, they produce gas. This is usually carbon dioxide, but also smaller amounts of hydrogen and methane. Although most of the hydrogen and methane produced by colonic bacteria is used up by other bacteria, small amounts of these gases are absorbed through the lining of the colon and into the blood. The gases circulate in the blood and go to the lungs, where they are eliminated in the breath. The gases can be measured in the breath with special analysers.

We had to be at the hospital at 0800! We live an hour and a half away so this meant getting up at 530 am and leaving by 6. Not fun. Anyway, my daughter had to stop eating by 8 pm the night before and couldn't have anything but water the morning of. We got to the hospital and were brought into a small room with some equipment. They gave her a drink with lactulose in it, and then began having her blow into a contraption fit with a syringe so they could collect the gases she exhaled and put it into a machine that would measure the hydrogen and methane gas. This was done every 15 minutes for 3 hours. While we were there, we watched a movie, played games, walked around.





During the test I was able to see the results of each gas collection and how it trended. The tech wasn't allowed to interpret the results, but she did tell me what they were looking for and it was quite obvious that the results were positive. Her numbers were really high and peaked just at the right times for a diagnosis of SIBO.
After the test we went to the cafe and ate hamburgers! Not real healthy, but we were so hungry!



So, now I wait for the call from the GI doctor to get the official results and what the next steps are.
In a way, it is all a bit overwhelming. First, I will have immense relief when I hear officially that we have an answer for the years of stomach aches. But then, there is all of this evidence that SIBO can be related to SPD, ADHD and Autism. How much of her behavioral concerns may be related to this condition?
For now, I am taking it one step at a time.

UPDATE: The doctor called the next day and confirmed that my daughter does indeed have SIBO. She is on a pretty powerful antibiotic to remedy this and hopefully we will see some results!

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