Hydrogen Breath Testing

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a serious digestive disturbance which can be treated effectively, but only if it is accurately diagnosed.

Typically, small amounts of bacteria are found in the small intestine. Occasionally, additional bacteria migrate from the large intestine into the small intestine, creating symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. As the symptoms are very similar to those associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), data from this test may assist physicians in evaluating IBS cases.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can easily be diagnosed by testing patients' breath samples for levels of hydrogen, methane, or both. After ingesting a substrate packet, the patient produces breath samples every 20 minutes over a 3-hour period.

Samples are then mailed to Commonwealth Laboratories, Inc. Analysis of the samples yields data on production of the targeted gases as the digestive process proceeds. The graph produced using this data provides key indicators of the existence/ extent of SIBO. The graph is a clear and understandable tool that physicians may share with patients in reviewing their test results.

How to prepare for the SIBO Breath Testing?

There is a 24-hour preparation period before taking the test; the first 12 hours require a specific diet, and the last 12 hours require a complete fasting period; however, you may brush your teeth.

How the SIBO Breath Testing program works?

  • To order kits (physician only): call 1-800-292-9019, fax: 1-781-659-0705, or use inquiry form
  • The test is performed, in the physician's office or the patient's home according to the SIBO breath test instruction manual,
  • Breath samples are returned to Commonwealth Laboratories Inc. in the postage paid box.
  • The analytical results are faxed to the physician's office, followed by a mailed copy. See sample SIBO breath test report

Download the Full Specification and Instruction Manual of the SIBO Breath Test


Can small intestinal bacterial overgrowth be treated?

Yes. Once bacterial overgrowth has been diagnosed, a health practitioner can use an appropriate antibiotic regimen to eradicate the bacteria, relieving the symptoms. Treatment can then begin on the underlying causes to keep overgrowth from recurring.

Hydrogen breath test

Our breath test measures both hydrogen and methane production as the digestive process proceeds. Accurate analysis of these gases can be used to assist in the diagnosis of several conditions that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as...

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