How do I take a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) test?

Taking a SIBO test can feel a bit overwhelming, but don't worry, we’re here to help.

Let’s break down what you have to do before the test, and what happens on the test day itself.

First, think about when you’re going to take it: you may need to wait until a few days or weeks after you’ve stopped taking particular supplements or medications.

Then, you need to follow a special diet the day before you take it.

On the day itself, you need to open your kit, figure out what goes where and breathe into tubes before sending them all off in the post. 

Preparing for the test

  • 4 weeks before the test: finish taking any antibiotics. You should never stop a course of antibiotics in order to take a test: talk to your GP first.
  • 1 week before the test: stop any promotility drugs or supplements (anything that speeds up the passage of food through your gut) and laxatives. Again, you must never stop taking drugs without first consulting your doctor.
  • 1 day before the test: avoid all complex carbohydrates and fermentable foods. These can interfere with the test results. Don’t worry, we’ve got simple instructions on what you can and can’t eat.
  • 12 hours before the test: fast and drink only water. Most people find it easy to do a SIBO breath test first thing in the morning, so they can fast overnight.
  • On the day of the test: avoid smoking and physical activity before and during the three-hour test period.

Taking the test

free-post-01 Our test kit will be delivered straight to your door.
calendar-01 Choose a day to take the test: most people find it easiest to do it on a weekend, as they can set aside Saturday to do the diet and then Sunday morning to do the test.
solution-01-1 To take the test, first give a baseline breath sample using the kit provided. Then drink the sugary solution, and wait 20 minutes.
repeat-01 After 20 minutes, give another breath sample in a second tube. Repeat this process every 20 minutes for three hours. You’ll end up with ten breath-filled tubes in total, which you can then send off to the lab for interpretation

What happens next?

Following a SIBO test, you can resume your normal diet while you wait for the results.

You should get your results back within ten working days.

Your test results will be clear and easy to understand, with next steps to follow.