How to Prepare for the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test
For accurate test results, you must avoid certain foods, drinks, supplements and medicines before the test. Many items we ingest during our day will be metabolized to hydrogen or methane gas, sometimes very slowly. You can reduce false results by avoiding these items prior to the test.
- If you had a recent colonoscopy or barium enema procedure, wait four (4) weeks before using this test.
- Do not use this test if you are taking any oral broad-spectrum antibiotics or bismuth preparations such as Pepto Bismol within two (2) weeks prior to administering the SIBO breath test.
- Avoid all laxatives, stool softeners or stool bulking agents one (1) week prior to the test including: Colace, Milk of Magnesia, Ex-Lax, Metamucil or Citrucel
- All other prescription drugs, except oral anitbiotics, may be taken prior to the test.
- All vitamins and supplements may be taken prior to the test.
Avoid these foods: Beans, whole wheat pasta, all fruits, fiber or bran cereals, tofu, nuts, whole wheat and rye breads and high fiber foods (whole grains).
Examples of foods you can eat: Fish, chicken, eggs, white potatoes, white bread, white rice, regular pasta, dairy and well cooked vegetables.
STOP EATING eating at least 8 hours before the test. You may drink water before the test.
- DO NOT eat, chew gum or tobacco, smoke cigarettes before or during the test.
- DO NOT sleep or exercise during the test.
- DO TAKE prescription medications with a small amount of water prior to or after the test.
- DO BRUSH your teeth prior to the test.
There are very few potential complications during the 1-hour testing. Patients may feel discomfort from ingestion of glucose including diarrhea, gas, cramping or bloating. This discomfort is transient.