Heartland clinic introduces new test to diagnose IBS

Heartland Regional Medical Center is located in Marion, ill. (Source: KFVS)
Heartland Regional Medical Center is located in Marion, ill. (Source: KFVS)((Source: KFVS))
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 1:01 PM CST
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - 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.

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.

“The hydrogen breath test is used to assess various digestive disorders including bloating and diarrhea, predominant IBS symptoms,” said Dr. Yazan Abu Qwaider, Gastroenterologist at Heartland Regional. “I have found that 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,” said Dr. Qwaider.

Once the samples are collected, Dr. Qwaider analyzes the results to see if and when increases in the amount of certain gases which are usually produced by excess bacteria.

“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. Our patients are very appreciative of being able to identify which foods cause their adverse symptoms, which subsequently leads to a more free diet," said Dr. Qwaider.

For more information, visit HeartlandRegional.com or call (618) 998-7239.

Heartland Regional Medical Group is following all CDC-recommended infection prevention protocols throughout the hospital and associated clinics.

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