SIBO Testing

SIBO testing is important because SIBO is often under diagnosed as it’s very similar to IBS. Did you know that up to 85% of IBS cases are due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)? So, if you have been experiencing IBS like symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas and bloating, it’s time consider testing for SIBO. Read more about SIBO symptoms, diagnosis and treatment here.

The gold standard to measure whether or not you have SIBO, is through a Hydrogen Breathing Test or Methane Breathing Test. This is a non invasive simple testing that you can do at home from your own comfort. SIBO is a condition in which the bacteria is present in the wrong place – small intestine. These bacteria ferment and produce gas, either methane or hydrogen. Therefore, a breath test can detect the rising in these specific gases in order to confirm SIBO. It’s important to know which one you should test for – methane or hydrogen as treatment for them is very different.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Testing to diagnose SIBO

SIBO Testing – How It’s Done

You will be given a testing kit in which you can take home and do it in your own comfort. The kit will contain everything you need, instructions as well as a pre-paid shipping package for you to mail the sample back to the lab.

The test starts with you drinking a lactulose solution (type of sugar that doesn’t get broken down or absorbed). If you have SIBO, the bacteria will ferment the sugar and release gas (this is why many SIBO patients also experience flatulence). Your breath will be collected every 30 minutes for a period of 2-3 hours. After collection, your breath samples will be mapped on a graph to asses hydrogen and methane levels (which the SIBO will be producing) as well as the times they peaked.  Results will be provided after 2-3 weeks, and Dr. Tali will discuss your SIBO testing results while taking into consideration your overall symptoms and health as both are important for a proper diagnosis.

Why Test For SIBO

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can be presented by many different symptoms. It’s important for you to get properly diagnosed by a licensed and regulated health care practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor to allow proper testing. The reason why you need to be properly assessed by a regulated health care professional is because treating SIBO without assessment can be damaging to your gut lining and your health. There can be other causes that are generating symptoms similar to SIBO which Dr. Tali will screen you for by an in-depth intake and diving deep into your symptoms with you.

Remember, you don’t want to overtreat because treating SIBO requires herbal medicine and nutraceuticals that have antibiotic like properties, this will affect your healthy gut bacteria and you need a proper step by step treatment plan to avoid such consequences.

Have any further questions about SIBO and SIBO testing?

Feel free to contact Dr. Tali Troyansky ND, Toronto Naturopathic Doctor , to discuss whether SIBO testing is right for you.