Hydrogen Breath Test

Last week I took a Hydrogen Breath Test. This test measures the hydrogen in your breath over a course of several hours as you digest a glucose substrate. If you have enough anaerobic bacteria in you small intestine (which shouldn’t be there), they will release hydrogen and methane when they digest the glucose. Basically, you blow into a test tube every 15 minutes and then ship those test tubes to a lab. Sounds easy enough, right?

The hard part is the 24 hours leading up to the test. For 12 hours, you can eat a very restricted bland diet. That wasn’t so bad until dinner. I was quite tired of rice and boiled chicken by then, but it wasn’t that onerous. I’ve been through worse.

pexels-photo-415232.jpegThe following 12 hours is fasting. I did this mostly while sleeping. I had to be up for an hour before I could start the test, which was the most difficult. I usually wake up ravenous. Drinking the glucose mixture was like drinking a super sugary drink. My stomach did not like it. About an hour in, I bloated up so much it was quite painful. Afterward, I couldn’t eat much.

I made the unwise (in hindsight) choice of having a few drinks that night, which led to a whole lot of vomiting followed by two days of bland food because that’s all I could keep down. This extreme reaction wasn’t all the test. My stress level was quite high that day, as well. My mom met with her oncologist and it didn’t go well, hence the desire to drink.

All this is why I didn’t blog last week. My depression wasn’t playing nice during all this other stress, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to do anything and most likely won’t do anything if I don’t have to to either survive or because I’m contractually obligated for my job. So this post, in a roundabout way, is a testament to weathering another tough week. Cheers to that. Maybe not with a drink. I’m still a little gun shy. 🙂

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