Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, or SIBO for short, is a condition that occurs when otherwise healthy bacteria in the large intestine overgrow into the small intestine, causing bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more. At Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, our specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating this condition, and can provide patients with at-home breath tests that can help identify and treat a patient’s bowel symptoms!

LA Gastroenterology & Nutrition is an innovative digestive center that takes a “whole-patient” approach to medicine. If you would like to contact us, please call 310.289.8000 or email info@laintegrativegi.com.

Intestinal Breath Test (AKA: Hydrogen Breath Test)

The hydrogen breath test is a fast, easy, and non-invasive method for testing for SIBO. By measuring the gases in the small intestine, a hydrogen breath test can determine if a patient is suffering from excess bacteria, and if so, to what extent. The process is so simple it can even be performed at home!

If a patient would like to test for SIBO, he or she should contact LA Integrative. We will provide them with an at-home SIBO testing kit, along with instructions and proper procedures for administrating the test.

A SIBO test works by measuring the amount of hydrogen and methane gases produced in the small intestine. When excess bacteria comes into contact with different foods, hydrogen/methane is produced. Through proper testing, a patient can determine whether their bacteria is producing more hydrogen and methane than normal. If so, it signifies that bacteria from the large intestine has moved into the small intestine.

Before testing for SIBO, a patient should refrain from eating for 12 hours. Immediately prior to testing, a patient will ingest a small amount of test non-absorbable sugar, a substance designed to highlight irregularities in the digestive tract. After swallowing  the sugar, a patient will blow into a tube that measures hydrogen and methane. Every 15 -20 minutes, the patient should blow into the tube. If hydrogen levels rise to a certain level in the designated time period, it signifies the presence of SIBO.

Benefits of an At-Home SIBO Test

Though hydrogen breath tests can be performed in-office, there are many benefits to administering the test at-home. When a patient performs an at-home version of the SIBO test, he or she reduces the amount of time needed to be spent in the office. Additionally, many patients are more relaxed in the comfort of their own home, as opposed to a doctor’s office.

At Los Angeles Integrative, we offer a SIBO test than is more comprehensive and effective than tests from other doctors. Instead of only measuring hydrogen, our tests measure methane and check for carbon dioxide as well. We do this to rule out any other factors that could contribute to an abnormal reading, like contaminated air.

Contact a “Whole-Body” Specialist

LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition is dedicated to providing patients with the utmost care. Through a unique combination of Eastern and Western Medicine, the specialists at LA Integrative can address multiple aspects of the body through proper care of the digestive tract.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our expert doctors, please contact us by calling 310.289.8000 or by emailing info@laintegrativegi.com.

Next, read How to Prepare for Capsule Endoscopy.