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Questions About Lab Tests...
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I saw a GI Dr today and I'm curious about some lab tests I'm getting done.

One is for Lactose Intollerance and it's a blood test. What does this entail and how does it work in comparison to the breath test?

How do they test for Bacterial Overgrowth?

Has anyone done an upper GI x-ray where you drink barium? What was this like?

Finally I'm getting a Dexa scan as well, what's this like?

I have a bunch of other tests, though I know about them.

Oh and it still seems like the GI Drs don't know much about Microscopic Colitis :( Still seem to be grasping at straws. Talked about high fiber, pepto bismol and endocort (sp). The usual. Seem to be even clueless about celiac/gluten sensitivity. Didn't seem very impressed with the stool testing other than the gene test, nor did they seem to care much about the IgG test. Talk about heads in the sand. :(

Mike

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Well, I can help with a couple of your questions...I also had the lactose intolerance blood test. My understanding is that the blood test is for adults and the breath test for children (my daughter had the breath test). Also, while any lab can draw for the blood test, it is much more difficult to find a place that will do the breath test (we had to travel an hour to a major children's hospital to have it done). Anyway, you can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before - they take blood and then you drink a solution of lactose mixed with water (tastes a bit chalky and like very watered down orange koolaid). Then, blood is drawn every half hour for, I think, two hours. It took a couple days to get the results. I had a mild stomach ache after. I've also had an upper GI with barium. They take a bunch of xrays at first and then take a bunch of xrays with you in different positions (standing, sitting, etc.) while drinking barium so they can watch it go down your esophagus and into your stomach. The drink is cherry flavored and definitely chalky tasting - it doesn't taste good but it wasn't as terrible as I was anticipating either. Good luck!

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Thanks, I'll have a bit less anxiety about it all now.

I'm curious, what were the results of the lactose test?

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Thanks, I'll have a bit less anxiety about it all now.

I'm curious, what were the results of the lactose test?

I've never had the lactose test done...would be a little worried about it, knowing how I do with lactose (probably would be running for a bathroom before they could do a blood draw!) ;)

My Barium test involved no food or drink after a certain time the evening before. Right before the test I had to quickly injest a powder followed by water (the powder instantly fizzed while I swallowed.) Then I had to swallow the barium (they can add different flavours to it.) Didn't taste too bad. Then I was intructed to move into different positions on an xray table that moved from vertical to horizontal position...essentially the xray records the movement of the Barium through your system. Once the test was over I was instructed to drink lots of water throughout the day to help pass the barium out of my system.

Michelle

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The results of my lactose intolerance test were very abnormal - I had suspected it for a very, very long time but my doctor wanted the test just to make sure. I had a mild stomach ache after the test but it wasn't nearly as bad as, say, if I had a piece of cheese.

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The results of my lactose intolerance test were very abnormal - I had suspected it for a very, very long time but my doctor wanted the test just to make sure. I had a mild stomach ache after the test but it wasn't nearly as bad as, say, if I had a piece of cheese.

Oh man, the last time I had cheese I was miserable. I even went for an Aged Cheddar that supposedly wouldn't contain any lactose. I suppose it could have been some other ingredient in the cheese as I suspect the Anneto (sp) coloring, but I've had Milk Protein Isolate (basically all that's left is whey and casein) and didn't see any problems there. Lactaid milk also seemed ok, still felt a bit off, but nothing like the cheese incident.

What sucked even more was that the day I had cheese was the day my mom came up to visit, I was pretty much on the toilet the whole time she visited after eating the cheese. :(

Mike

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I can't tolerate any cheese (not even soy cheese because of thyroid problems) or lactaid milk or any other dairy at all and, really, the stomach ache I got from the lactose test was minimal. It really wasn't horrible and I was able to continue my day as usual. I think it really is a minimal amount of lactose that they use for the test. I understand that you're hesitant but, honestly, all I can tell you is that I can't tolerate any amount of dairy (even if it supposedly contains no lactose and/or use Lactaid pills) and I really wasn't that uncomfortable after (or during) the test. By the way, the amount that you drink is fairly minimal, too - like 6 or 8 ounces.

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    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
    • This 4 out of 5 criteria does not apply to children. I was never given a reason why, but it isn't.     That said, you may try to get a second opinion from another GI who may be willing to give her a firm dx.  We were in your boat 6 years ago and while I'm sure I'll get slammed for it, I wish we had kept gluten in our kiddos diet till he scoped positive for a variety of reasons.  Again, even family is different and you have to find what is best for you!
    • Mnoosh, I had swollen lymph nodes prior to celiac dx and for a while after going gluten free. My neck as well as groin. The groin ones were the worst. Guess what? All gone! It's hard to recall a time line & consider that everyone is different but I think mine completely resolved within a year.  You've been given great information. Just breathe and then again, breathe. You're going to be fine. 
    • It is the only thing you have eaten, so it can't be anything else?  I eat it with no issues so I am not sure how you can be certain that is the problem.  All I am saying is that its sort of "your word against mine and the company's word".  
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