SIBO breath test – a first step towards diagnosis
Diagnosing Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) can be challenging, especially because symptoms are often similar to other digestive disorders. However, the SIBO breath test has established itself as a very valuable tool for diagnosing this disease.
How does the test work?
The SIBO breath test is a non-invasive test that measures the concentrations of hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) in the air you breathe and can be easily performed at home.
These gases, which are measured in the air we breathe, are produced by the bacteria in the small intestine during the breakdown of carbohydrates. An increased level of these gases in the air you breathe can be an indicator of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. The test involves collecting breath samples in special glass tubes over a period of about three hours.
Special preparation is required before the test, which includes a restricted diet and temporary discontinuation of certain medications.
It is important to note that while the SIBO breath test is considered the gold standard for diagnosing SIBO, it is not 100% accurate. False positive or false negative results are possible and the test should always be interpreted in the context of a comprehensive medical assessment.
The results of the SIBO breath test can have a significant impact on the treatment plan. A positive result can pave the way for targeted antibiotic therapy, while a negative result can open other diagnostic avenues, such as further testing.