SiBO Breath Test


Analysis of breath samples, collected before and after a challenge drink, determines the likely role of bacterial overgrowth in digestive symptoms. Test can be conducted in the privacy of your home, or in our Auckland clinic.



Detailed instructions, including the preparation diet are here. In brief, you will follow a special diet for 1-2 days. Then on the morning of testing a baseline breath sample is collected, after which you’ll have a drink with the provided testing substance (a type of sugar). Then, every 20 minutes, (for three hours) you will collect another breath sample (10 samples in total). Once your test has been completed, you can eat and drink normally.

The SiBO breath test helps establish the role of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine in your health and overall digestive function.  Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SiBO) has been associated with irritable bowel (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), eczema, rosacea, fibromyalgia, liver disorders and many other conditions.  Emerging evidence links it to autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease & depression.

Who Should do the SiBO Breath Test?

The SiBO test may be be indicated if you experience any of these symptoms:
  • Gas, Bloating, Reflux or heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation or Diarrhoea
  • Unexplained malabsorption
  • Digestive disturbance after a tummy bug, antibiotics, pain killers or stomach acid-reducing drugs (may also be worse from probiotics, fibre, certain fruit/veges or wholefoods).
  • Skin problems (Acne, psoriasis, rosacea etc)
  • Body pain or Fibromyalgia
  • Brain fog or Fatigue
  • Iron deficiency or Gut symptoms when taking iron supplements
  • Cognitive dysfunction (memory, concentration/brain fog)
  • Neurological disorders including Parkinson’s Disease.

What are the Options for Doing the SiBO Breath Test?

You can do the SiBO Breath Test at home or in our Auckland clinic.
The SiBO breath test kit is designed so that you can collect breath samples in the convenience of your own home. Alternatively, you can arrange to conduct the test in our clinic (Mt Albert, Auckland).

NOTE: In-clinic tests are run on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. You will need to be at the clinic between 9.00am and 9.30am on the test day.

The SiBO test can be conducted using either glucose or lactulose, each with different advantages and disadvantages.  If you get digestive problems within 60 minutes of eating, then you are best to conduct the glucose test.  If if is somewhat later than this, or unclear, then lactulose is preferred. Please note: according to current breath testing guidelines, a SiBO breath test must be conducted before lactose intolerance or fructose malabsorption testing is done. You will be sent lactulose unless specified. 

How is the SiBO Breath Test Done?

The test is collected in the morning, over a 3-hour period, after period of diet preparation. You will need to:

  • Follow a restricted diet for one day (or two if constipated) Diet preparation instructions are here.
  • Fast (water-only) overnight (12 hours)
  • Be awake (no exercise) for one hour before starting the test.
  • Collect a baseline breath sample.
  • Drink the provided substrate (glucose or lactulose) with water
  • Then, every 20 minutes (for three hours) you will collect additional breath samples (10 samples in total).

What Will I Need to Conduct the SiBO Breath Test at Home?

If you choose to do the SiBO breath test at home, you will need:

  • A timer.
  • Water and glass.
  • Pen.
  • A 4-hour period for conducting the test (one hour of being awake before testing can start)

Everything else is supplied in the test kit.

For accurate results, it is crucial that the breath samples are collected correctly.  Please watch this video, which explains the procedure. If you are unsure whether you can collect the samples correctly, please book the in-clinic test.

Once your test has been completed, you can eat and drink normally.
Package the tubes in the box they came in, place in the pre-paid courier bag provided and either phone the courier to collect or drop in to your local post shop.

How do I get the Results of my SiBO Breath Test?

A consultation is required to discuss your SiBO breath test results and to develop a management plan when your samples have been analysed. Reports are typically ready within 5-7 working days of them being received at our lab. The results session/initial (comprehensive 90-minute) consultation can be booked with either Sharon Erdrich, Sandy Watts or Verity Vincent, or your report will be forwarded directly to your registered health practitioner.

You can read more about breath testing here. Our testing and interpretation protocols are congruent with those outlined in the North American Breath Testing Guidelines (2017) as published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. (PMID28323273)

Please note: Test results are delivered in the context of a professional consultation – either in our clinic, by Skype or to the registered health consultant you specify.

For more information about the background and science behind the SiBO test, please read here or give us a call 09 846 5566

Read more about SiBO here

Samples must reach us within 5 days of collection.Turnaround time for results: 5-7 working days.

You can read more about Hydrogen-methane breath testing here.

or give us a call on 09 846 5566

Additional information

Weight 0.3 kg
Test Options

Test kit (at Home), Two-test combo (Kits, Any two), Two-test combo (In-clinic, Any two), In-clinic test (by appointment, Mt Albert, Auckland)