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SOUTH DENVER GASTROENTEROLOGY, P.C.

Breath Tests for Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

What are Breath Tests for SIBO?

Breath testing is a non-invasive option for diagnosing a number of conditions, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). While everyone has bacteria in their gut which play an important role in digestion, sometimes there can be too much bacteria. This imbalance in the gut can lead to problems such as SIBO, which can result in uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, uncomfortable fullness after eating, belly pain, nausea and more. In order to diagnose SIBO, a breath test is performed.

During a SIBO breath test, you will be asked to drink a sugary solution and breath periodically into a breathalyzer over the next 3 hours. If the bacteria are fermenting in your small intestine, they will be present in your breath, which results in a SIBO diagnosis.

What to Expect After Your SIBO Breath Test?

Following your SIBO breath test, you will be able to return home while you wait for your test results. If it is determined that you have SIBO, your doctor will speak with you regarding treatment options, which usually involve antibiotics. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your test or the results, do not hesitate to reach out to our office.

I felt heard. I truly appreciated Dr. Ende's bedside manner and how he really took the time to listen to my whole health picture. It meant a lot to me.

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The front staff was immediately attentive as soon as I walked in. The nurses and PAs were professional and very nice, and the doctors were even better. The procedure went smoothly and could not have gone better. Of course, having positive lab results makes it easier to post a glowing report but I got the impression that if I had been diagnosed differently, they would have taken care of me with the same kindness and dedication.

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Other Breath Tests

There are also several other breath tests that can be used to help your doctor diagnose different conditions, including:

Lactose Intolerance breath test: This test is used to diagnose lactose intolerance, which occurs when the body cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. During this test, you will be asked to drink a beverage heavy in lactose. Then, your breath will be tested at regular intervals to measure the amount of hydrogen. If your body is not digesting the lactose, high levels of hydrogen will be found in your breath.

Fructose Intolerance breath test: This test is performed to determine if you have difficulty absorbing fructose, which is a sugar found in certain food items. During this test, your breath will be analyzed for hydrogen gas. You will then be asked to drink a fructose solution, and more breath results are taken over the next 3 hours. If there is a high level of hydrogen, this is an indication that your body is having trouble absorbing fructose.

Helicobacter Pylori breath test: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium that lives in the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum that results in chronic inflammation. Patients will be asked not to eat or drink for one hour before this test. During the test, you will be connected to a nasal breath cannula which is attached to a breath analyzer. You will then be given a special solution to drink. If H. pylori are present, CO2 will be present in your breath.

Your South Denver GI Team

At South Denver GI, our team of physicians and advanced practice providers have the expertise to provide you with outstanding care. If you would like to learn more about Breath Tests for Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or need to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today!


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