Our experienced and dedicated technicians offer the highest standards of quality assurance while striving to get you results and information in the timeliest manner possible.

What is SIBO?

SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and can occur when the small intestine has become chronically infected with an overgrowth of bacteria.

Symptoms differ for everyone and can include bloating, belching, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes, respiratory issues, mood changes, eczema, fatty stools, iron deficiency, flatulence, abdominal pain and vitamin B12 deficiency.

SIBO testing can be ordered through any physician. Book an appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors and find out if SIBO testing is right for you.

SIBO Testing FAQs

How is SIBO testing done?

SIBO testing is done using a breath test kit.  It takes 3 hours to complete, and gives us a picture of how the bacteria in your intestinal system are functioning.

If you are referred to our clinic for SIBO testing by your physician or one of our naturopathic doctors, you will receive a kit and will be able to administer the test in the convenience of your own home. You will also need to eat a special prep diet for 24 hours prior to the exam. Once testing is complete simply return your kit to our lab for analysis.

What does the test look at?

SIBO tests measure the levels of hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) gases. These gases are produced by bacteria in response to glucose or lactulose. Since humans do not produce either hydrogen or methane, these gases are evidence of bacterial fermentation.

What is lactulose?

Lactulose is a manmade sugar that humans cannot digest and is sometimes used as a laxative. During testing some people may experience the following symptoms: needing to use the restroom, bloating and gas. These symptoms are a natural response to the lactulose and will pass.

When will I receive my test results?

Test results will typically be given to your doctor within two weeks of your returning the completed test to our lab.

What is the SIBO prep diet?

You will be asked to adhere to the SIBO prep diet for 24 hours prior to taking the test with the goal of starving the bacteria for a day in order to produce better test results. SIBO bacteria love plant products and sugars, so during the prep diet you can only eat the foods listed below:

  • Any meat/poultry/fish/seafood that is not cured or brined
  • Plain, steamed white rice
  • Eggs
  • Clear meat broth (made only from the meat, no bone/cartilage or vegetables)
  • Fats/oils (coconut/olive/vegetable oils, butter, or lard)
  • Salt and Pepper (no other herbs/spices)
  • Weak black coffee and/or weak black tea (plain, no sweeteners or cream, NO green or herbal teas)
  • Plain water (no mineral water or water with additives)

If it is not on the list DO NOT eat it.

Your referring doctor will discuss the diet with you, and may also ask you to stop taking some of your medication. Please ensure that you inform your referring physician of all medications you are currently taking so that they can properly advise you. Please do not stop taking any of your medications without the consultation of your physician.

How to administer the SIBO test

Prior to taking the test please make sure you read all the information included with the test kit. You may also want to take a look at this helpful video.
Collecting breath samples

DO NOT take a deep breath, please breathe as you would normally. (There is a small hole in the bag that allows air to flow through.) Blow out through the mouthpiece attached to the bag. During your exhale, push the test tube onto the needle collection device and leave it on for about 1-2 seconds. Pull the tube off the needle while still exhaling. Once the tube is off the needle you can stop breathing into the mouthpiece.

Common sample collection errors
  • Putting the tube on the needle before breathing into the collection device. This is the most common error and will cause room air to contaminate the sample. Make sure you are breathing into the mouthpiece prior to puncturing the tube with the collection device needle.
  • Taking a very big inhalation before the sample.  Make sure you take a normal breath otherwise room air will contaminate the sample.
  • Putting the tube on the needle at the beginning of the exhalation instead of mid exhalation.  If you put the tube on early the air in the tube will be from your trachea whereas the air mid exhalation will be from your lungs and is the air we want to capture.
  • Puncturing the tube more than once. This can cause the sample to leak out of the tube.