Preparing for Your SIBO Test

IMPORTANT: Please watch our step-by-step instructional video at least 24 hours before you plan to begin your SIBO test.  The video can be found on our home page here.

If you cannot comply with these guidelines, the at-home SIBO breath test may not be appropriate for you, and you should discuss other options with your provider.


At-home SIBO Test Guidelines

  • No eating or drinking except water before or during the test.
  • No smoking (including exposure to second-hand smoke) at least one hour prior and throughout the test.
  • No exercise one hour prior to and throughout the test.
  • No sleeping during the test.
  • Wait at least two weeks to perform the test if you have: taken antibiotics or have had a colonoscopy, barium study, or enema.

If continuous antibiotic use prior to the test is unavoidable, the initial breath test can still be performed.

The at-home SIBO test requires a restrictive diet on the day before the test followed by an overnight fast. This ensures that the gases measured in your breath only reflect the metabolism of the substrate solution you drink and not of the undigested food that remains in your gastrointestinal tract.


Restrictive Diet

Preparation for your breath test requires you follow the restrictive diet the day before the test followed by an overnight fast. Begin the restrictive diet at lunchtime the day before you plan to take the breath test. If you are unsure whether a particular food should be avoided during the restrictive diet, avoid the food and consult with your provider. Do not eat anything after dinner.

While on the restrictive diet, you may consume the following foods:

  • Chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs (baked or boiled only)
  • Hard cheeses
  • Clear chicken or meat broth (excluding bouillon or bone broth)
  • White rice or white bread (wheat or other bread types are not permitted)
  • Seasoning with oil, salt, and pepper only.


Overnight Fast

After finishing dinner while on the restrictive diet, begin the overnight fast.  During this period, you should be asleep.  However, if you awaken and need food or drink, the only thing that can be consumed is water.


The Morning of the Breath Test

Plan to take your breath test immediately after you awaken.  Brush your teeth well to help remove bacteria from your mouth.  Do not eat or drink anything before or during the test except water.  The SIBO breath test will take three hours to complete, so plan to do something relaxing during the test such as watching a movie or reading a book.  The timing of sample collection is important, so avoid distractions.