The Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test is a non-invasive test that detects bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. SIBO is a common gastrointestinal disorder that often underlies chronic gastrointestinal symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea, bowel irregularity, and abdominal pain. Some common causes of SIBO include a decrease in the production of hydrochloric acid from acid suppressing drugs; antibiotic use; and motility disorders where the intestinal contents are slowed down, leading to stasis and bacterial overgrowth.
To perform the test, follow the detailed instructions included in your kit. You will collect one breath sample; then, following the collection schedule provided in your test kit, you’ll collect five more breath samples after consuming the provided drink over the course of two hours. Once you’ve followed through with the instructions and completed the test, you’ll ship your samples to the lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
What is SIBO?
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a change in the balance between helpful and pathogenic bacteria in the small intestine, with under-representation of “good” bacteria and overgrowth of “bad”. SIBO may interfere with the absorption of nutrients or digestion of food, and cause inflammation, which may damage the cells lining the interior walls of the small intestine. This damage may lead to the intestinal barrier becoming permeable, as well as further complications, including immune reactions that cause food allergies or sensitivities, general inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
What causes SIBO?
Though the etiology may be complex, causes include:
- Low stomach acid from acid suppressor medications (proton pump inhibitors)
- Antibiotic use
- Poor diet
- Motility disorders
- Partial bowel obstruction
Are there certain foods I should avoid before the test?
Yes, 1 week prior to the test avoid the use of stool softeners or bulking agents like fiber supplements, laxatives, and antacids containing aluminum or magnesium hydroxide.
24 hours before the test, avoid eating any roughage from fruits, vegetables or legumes, and limit your diet to the following foods:
- Baked or broiled chicken, fish or turkey (salt and pepper only)
- White bread (plain)
- Plain steamed white rice
- Clear chicken or beef broth with no vegetable pieces
Must I fast before the test?
Yes, you must fast for 12 hours before the test, though water is allowed.
When will I receive my results?
Our office will receive your results about 2 weeks after submitting your sample to the lab.