SIBO Testing

We offer both testing in our lab and test kits that can be shipped to you with a doctor’s orders.

How is the test done?

Breath testing measures the hydrogen and methane gas produced by bacteria in the small intestine that has diffused into the blood, then lungs, for expiration. These are gases produced by bacteria, not by humans. The gas is graphed over three hours and compared to a baseline measurement. Patients drink a sugar solution of lactulose after a one–day preparatory diet. The diet removes much of the food that would feed the bacteria, allowing for a clear reaction to the sugar drink.

Is the test accurate?

Unfortunately, there is no perfect test. The small intestine is a tricky place to get to. If we want to see or sample it, endoscopy only reaches into the top portion, and colonoscopy only reaches into the end portion. The middle portion (which is substantial at about 17 feet!) is not accessible, other than by surgery. Stool testing predominantly reflects the large intestine. False positives are rare and usually caused by improper preparation or collection. Almost all false negatives are avoided by measuring methane in addition to hydrogen.

 

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