Instructions for the Breath Test

Note for patients and practitioners: Please be sure to follow directions carefully as there is a $70.00 re-test/replacement fee.


Here are the instructions in order to prepare for a breath test.

  • You must fast for 12 hours prior to the test. (Diabetic patients should consult with their provider prior to fasting to ensure this test is safe for them.)
  • The test takes three hours to complete.
  • Plan on doing the test on a morning that you can dedicate four hours to testing.
  • Do not insert your finger into the tube sampler — there is a sharp needle.
  • Some patients may experience SIBO- related symptoms after drinking the test solution. These symptoms may last for up to 24 hours.

How to prepare for your test

Finish taking any antibiotics or antifungals . Do not undergo colonoscopy or barium enemas during this time (regular home enemas like Fleet are ok).

Unless otherwise directed by your provider, please avoid Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).

Avoid all laxatives including Vitamin C and Magnesium.

You must refrain from all high fibre and lactose – containing foods. These foods can ferment in your gut, and can potentially cause erroneous results. If you have constipation, please refrain for the full two days.

The following list of food options are acceptable for the preparatory diet.

  • Any baked or broiled meat or fish (raw fish is allowed too)
  • White Bread
  • Plain, steamed white rice (If you are on a grain free diet, please do not consume rice)
  • Eggs
  • Clear meat broth (no bouillon, bone/cartilage or vegetable broth)
  • Fats/oils (e.g., coconut/olive/vegetable oil, butter, lard)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Weak black coffee/tea (plain, no sweeteners or cream)

If you are unsure if something will a interfere the test, DO NOT CONSUME the product and/or consult with your provider.

Begin fasting. Avoid all food, drinks (except water) and non-essential medication. You should also avoid laxative use from now until the test is complete.

Wake up at least one hour prior to beginning collection. You may brush your teeth as normal. No smoking or vigorous exercise for at least one hour prior to collection.

Lay out your kit contents. You should have received: glass vials, labels, a packet of substrate, an “EasySampler” collection device, bubble-wrap sleeves, and a worksheet to record collection times. If you weigh less than 100 pounds, please roll down the blue collection bag to the correct weight and staple. Do not consume any solution yet. Wait until after you have collected the baseline #1 breath sample.

***Note that steps 1-4 are performed during one single continuous breath for each tube collected. ***

  1. Take a normal breath in, not a deep breath. (This is vital to ensure that your breath is not contaminated with room air!) Close your mouth around the mouthpiece and exhale normally.
  2. Continue to blow into the mouthpiece to inflate the bag fully. (Note that there are two small holes in the blue collection bag. They are intentional. Please do not obstruct these holes.) Keep blowing.
  3. While still continuing to exhale, completely insert the test tube into the needle-holder so that the rubber stopper is punctured. Keep blowing.
  4. After 1-2 seconds, pull the tube out of the needle-holder and set it aside. Do not stop exhaling until after the tube is removed from the holder. Note, you will not see or hear your breath inside of the tube. The tubes have a vacuum that will suck in the exact amount needed for analysis in 1-2 seconds. Do not puncture the tube twice.
  5. Immediately after collecting the baseline #1 breath sample, you need to consume the sub- strate solution for the test. Do not follow dosage instructions printed on the packet. Instead, mix entire packet of substrate with 8 ounces of water. You must mix the solution within 3-5 minutes. (If you weigh less than 50 pounds, please consult with laboratory personnel for proper dosage instructions.) After drinking the solution you may resume quiet activity, but do not eat, smoke, sleep or exercise vigorously for the duration of the test. Drinking water is allowed in moderation. After drinking solution, collect another breath sample every 20 minutes for the next three hours, using all ten tubes provided. Please record the date and time each tube is collected on both the tube labels and the work- sheet. You should also record any symptoms you experience during the test. When finished, put the tubes into the protective bubble wrap sleeve(s). Place the protected tubes, the EasySampler, and any paperwork into the box and seal with the prepaid sticker that was provided for shipping. After the lab receives your kit, results will be sent directly to your provider within two weeks.

How to Order a Test

Patients can fill out a patient application form with doctor referral and order from SIBO Canada directly.

  • Shipping to your home (or clinic)
  • Return paid shipping back to the laboratory
  • Instructions on the test procedure
  • Kit with the following contents: 10 glass vials, labels, a packet of substrate(glucose or lactolose), an “EasySampler” collection device, bubble- wrap sleeves, prepaid shipping label, and a worksheet to record collection times.
  • Lab results with interpretation sent to your prescribing physician

If you are a referring doctor, you will be added to our list of physicians that treat SIBO. Patients in your area looking for doctors to treat them will be referred to you. This is a great marketing tool for offices looking to expand their practices in Digestive health.