Functional Diagnostic Assessments

SIBO Breath Test

What is SIBO

If you’re feeling bloated after every meal or frustrated when eating out, shopping for groceries or cooking, SIBO testing may reveal answers to your digestive concerns. SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is caused when bacteria that are normally present in the large intestine start to grow in the small intestine. This causes problems because many of these bacteria and other single cell organisms called archaea ferment sugars to produce gasses.

The presence of these gasses, usually hydrogen and methane, can cause a whole range of symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the stomach, especially after eating
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Regular feeling of fullness
  • Gas

The good news about SIBO is that it can be diagnosed and treated. Diagnosis involves a simple breath test that can be done at home. The patient is asked to drink some sugar solution and then blow into a series of test tubes over a couple of hours. The gas in the test tubes is analyzed and if the hydrogen and methane levels are high that usually indicates SIBO.

Testing procedure

Dr. Gupta, ND will provide you with a test kit that includes:

  • 10 breath sample vials
  • a mouthpiece for sample collection
  • 10 ml lactulose solution
  • pre-paid Purolator packaging for sample pick up
  • a complete instruction pamphlet for proper collection

The procedure involves the patient ingesting a lactulose solution, followed by a collection of breath samples every 20 mins for 3 hours. The breath samples are assessed for hydrogen and methane gas, and the gasses are graphed out over the transit time of the small intestine and compared to baseline.

SIBO Treatment

After obtaining your results, we can determine if SIBO is the underlying issue at hand and if so, which type of bacteria are the causative agents. Depending on the results, a specific course of antimicrobials will be prescribed along with dietary modifications to aid in eliminating the bacteria. Eventual food reintroduction will also be part of the treatment after healing the gut lining and reinoculating the flora with probiotics.