Hydrogen/Methane breath test for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)


Glucose and lactulose breath test methods for assessing numerous health disorders


SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) is a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria – the types that are normally found in the large intestine – are present in the small intestine. When not functioning properly, the migrating motor complex (MMC) fails to effectively sweep intestinal contents into the colon during periods of fasting. Once in the small intestine, these bacteria proliferate and feed off carbohydrates from food, creating fermentation gases, specifically methane and hydrogen. SIBO breath testing measures these gases.


SIBO can be a cause of many health problems, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and protein/fat malabsorption. Common conditions associated with SIBO are nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, malnutrition, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Rosacea, Fibromyalgia, GERD, etc.

To see if this is an issue for you, a hydrogen/methane breath test  can be done to assess your bacterial growth in the small intestine.


*Your test includes a 15 minute Interpretation of your results with Michelle Ross, Director of Clinical Services. Please Note: The test interpretation consultation must take place within 3 months of placing the test order.

Hydrogen/Methane breath test is a reliable and convenient method to help in assessing and classifying dysbiosis and SIBO.

BioHealth provides high-quality SIBO testing services:

  • Non-invasive breath collection
  • Lactulose and Glucose challenge
  • Lactulosechallenge to detect bacterial overgrowth in the distal small intestine
  • Glucose challenge for higher specificity in the upper small intestine
  • 3-hour collection method reveals SIBO in patients with slow transit times

What does This SIBO Breath Test Measure?

Hydrogen – Bacteria produce hydrogen through the process of fermentation of unabsorbed carbohydrates. A small amount of hydrogen is normally produced from limited amounts of unabsorbed carbohydrate reaching the colon. However, large amounts of hydrogen may be produced if there is malabsorption of carbohydrates and/or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, allowing a larger amount of hydrogen to reach the colon. The hydrogen produced by the bacteria is absorbed through the wall of the small and large intestines. The hydrogen-containing blood travels to the lungs, where the hydrogen is released and exhaled in the breath. Elevated hydrogen levels tend to be associated with IBS-D (diarrhea) and faster transit times.

Methane – About 15 percent to 30 percent of people have gut flora that contain Methanobrevibacter smithii, which converts four atoms of hydrogen into one molecule of methane. These subjects may not exhale much hydrogen in the breath test despite having SIBO or carbohydrate malabsorption, as excess hydrogen produced as a result of fermentation is converted into methane. Elevated methane levels tend to be associated with IBS-C (constipation) and slower transit times. Both hydrogen and methane are produced by bacteria and are not a normal product of human metabolism. Too much hydrogen, methane or both is a positive test for bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine.

Price: $395.00

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