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Health Test Spotlight: Breath Test for Gut Problems including SIBO

Did you know that up to 80% of IBS is caused by SIBO? Yet surprisingly, not many people have heard of it or even know what it is (including doctors!).

The breath test is one of the easiest and least invasive tests available to diagnose gut health concerns. Easy to perform, but often underused, let's go over the most common FAQs.

Monash university breath testing hydrogen sibo

Sounds simple, is it really just my breath?

Yes, it is simply that, your breath.

It comes as a kit that can be done at home, and includes pouches to collect your breath before and after drinking a small amount of lactulose (a type of sugar). If the bad bacteria are present in your small intestine, they will consume the lactulose and release methane and hydrogen, which can be captured and tested in your breath.

The breath test for gut problems really is one of the simplest and easiest diagnostic tools we have access to.

What does it help to diagnose?

We use it to diagnose SIBO - Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

SIBO symptoms are similar to IBS, but it has some stand out symptoms, especially being triggered by foods that are seen as healthy, such a fruit and vegetables.

  • Extreme bloating after food that comes in quickly

  • Foul smelling gas - often methane or sulfur smelling

  • Experience trouble digesting fruit & vegetables

  • Feel worse after eating carbohydrates

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Diarrhoea

  • Abdominal pain

How quickly do I get results?

We usually get our SIBO breath test results back in around 2 weeks.

Can I get it on the NHS?

It is possible yes, but you will likely need to be referred to a gastroenterologist. If SIBO is diagnosed, their treatment method will be up to 3 different types of strong antibiotics for several weeks.

However, we have seen many times, that once you have been treated with strong antibiotics with no other gut supportive nutrients or probiotic protocol, its quite likely that you will get a recurrent infection or a relapse of SIBO within 6 months to a year

How can the test help a health professional treat me?

The test we recommend, the Geneva SIBO Profiles test, which takes multiple samples over a 2 or 3 hour window. This is so that clients who have a slower digestion period or have constipation can still get a decent sample to provide a diagnosis.

Our gut health nutritionist and master SIBO practitioners are well versed in these tests and can use the report provided to create a comprehensive treatment plan.

How has this test helped your clients before?

In the case of SIBO, it is not very well known about, and therefore not often tested in conventional medicine. Many clients come to us thinking they have IBS or stomach ulcers, but the minute we go through their symptoms and it becomes clear that SIBO is the likely cause, it's often such a relief.

SIBO can be methodically eradicated through diet and a supplement protocol. Once the bacterial overgrowth is managed, clients can return to eating the foods that gave them to much discomfort before. And as mentioned, the best part, is that the SIBO test is SO EASY!

You can read about Becky, and her success in reducing bloating and fatigue after being diagnosed with SIBO.

If you have any more questions about the breath test, feel free to get in contact with us today - book a free 20 minute call and we'd love a chat.


Kelly Mulhall

Registered Nutritional Therapist


kelly mulhall nutritional therapist london

Kelly is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who focuses on positive physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise. Having struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, and increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and helpful advice from her GP, Kelly began her own journey of healing the body from the inside out. After seeing huge improvements she quit her job to study nutrition and focus on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.

I am not attempting to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional issues. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you have read on this website. Do not start or stop taking any medications without speaking to your primary health care provider.


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