What is SIBO? 

SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a condition where there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.  These bacteria, normally occur in the gastrointestinal tract and carry out many functions essential for human health.

However, in some cases the bacteria end up in a different location to where they should be.  Once there, they continue to do what they normally do, but because they are in the wrong location, they can cause gastrointestinal symptoms.

What are the symptoms of SIBO? 

Symptoms are very similar to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other gastrointestinal conditions.  These different conditions will be ruled out as part of a decision to do a SIBO test.

Symptoms may include:

Bloating, belching, gas, abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, (or both), heart burn, nausea, anemia, food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, skin problems or mood problems.

Estimates are that SIBO may be involved in 70% to 85% of IBS cases.

Can I be tested for SIBO?

Yes, there is a range of tests.  This includes endoscopy or colonoscopy; stool testing or blood tests.

The most common test for SIBO is the Hydrogen & Methane breath test.

What is the Hydrogen and Methane breath test?

The Hydrogen and Methane breath test is a test which measures the hydrogen and methane produced by the bacteria in the small intestine.  These gases move through the blood to the lungs and are released as you exhale.   By measuring the gases we can measure the presence of these bacteria.

Can I do the test at home?

Yes, you can do the test at home using a special kit.  It takes up to three hours in the morning breathing into a tube every 20 minutes.

You do need to prepare the day before – eating a restricted diet (which we will explain to you) and then fasting overnight.  The diet removes much of the food that would normally feed the bacteria, allowing us measure a clear reaction during the test.

How much does the test cost?

The test costs €175, plus the consultation to feedback and discuss the results, making the total cost €225.

How can I be sure the test is good quality?

We work with a leading laboratory in the UK.  Their testing system is highly quality controlled and is in fact the most validated and quality-controlled test for SIBO breath analysis on the market.

The result of these tests determine your gut recovery plan.  We believe, therefore, it is important to ensure that the results we will use have been derived from a strictly controlled process.

When is the best time to do the test?

Because you need to give breath samples every 20 minutes, it is better to do the test when you are not working or running around, so you can focus on what you are doing.  You need to be relatively distraction free for three to four hours.

I don’t really like doing tests – is this one stressful?

Not al all!  Yes, you have to be patient and have a timer beside you, but other than that you can do the test at home, just breathing into a tube every 20 minutes!  It is very easy.

How do I proceed?

Come and have a discussion with us, so that we can carry out a full review and decide which way forward is best for you.