My experience with the SIBO breath test (spoiler alert: it was not fun)

As much as I try to remain positive, there are times when I simply can’t. Today was one of them. And that’s okay because I get another shot tomorrow.

But let’s back up to yesterday. The test required a full day of dietary restrictions, which were not fun, but thankfully it was only for a day. I lived off eggs, bacon(!), plain chicken with broth with steamed white rice, white bread, lots of water and plain, hot black tea. The no sugar thing was probably the hardest to avoid, but I’m happy to report that it was a success!

That night, I had to fast for 12 hours, which was no biggie for me since I love going to bed early to watch Netflix. {Any other Last Man Standing fans out there?} The test required me to be awake and not exercise for an hour before, so I took a shower, made Mike some coffee and folded laundry. Time flew by!

It was really easy and straightforward. You breathe into a blue plastic bag, put a glass test tube in the needle part (on the side in the pic above) for a couple seconds and slap a label on it with your name, time, date & test you’re taking.

Before taking the first “baseline” sample, I mixed the lactulose solution with 8 ounces of chilled water, set it aside. Took my first baseline sample, then drank the solution. It didn’t taste bad at all. More like a clean, semi sweet chilled tea which was really nice. Then take a sample every 20 minutes until all 10 test tubes are complete. Popped them in a box and shipped them off. It was really easy, but very time consuming especially when all you want is a cup iced coffee and breakfast. Ha!

With all this time on my hands, I was debating between a coconut smoothie or Daiya cheeze pizza after the test. When I set the last timer for 20 minutes, I popped the pizza in the oven. I thought I needed more substance after fasting for over 15 hours. After the pizza, I made an iced Americano. About 90 minutes later I started to feel sick to my stomach. My Functional doctor thinks it was from either the lactulose (most people don’t feel sick) or it could be a really bad case of SIBO. We shall see what the test results say in about a week. But it has definitely not been a day at Disneyland.

If you are considering taking the SIBO test, I hope this post doesn’t discourage you. It’s only 24-30 hours and I think (hope) it’s well worth it. I had a difficult time because I also had a migraine on prep day and the morning of the test. I wanted the cleanest test results possible, so I didn’t take Imitrex while testing. If it wasn’t for that, I believe it would have been easier. Even if side effects are rare, chances are high I will be the one to get them. Ha! So I say give it a shot!


Thank you for letting me bitch. I never intend for this blog have a “woe is me” vibe and I hope it never comes across that way. My intention is to keep it real. It’s a fine line to walk sometimes…between those two. On one hand I don’t want to pretend things are drippy, sugary sweet, but I also don’t want it to come across as a feel sorry for me either. And please don’t, there are far worse health conditions I could have. I’m thankful for the ones I’m dealing with right now. Even on the toughest days, I remain thankful.

Having said that, chronic health issues are real. They’re raw. They wear you down. They wear your spouse and people close to you down. They chew you up and spit you out on a daily basis. I have always considered myself as strong, tough & stubborn. But lately, I’m just…..tired. I’ll bounce back though!

My hope that my experiences both good & bad can help folks not feel so alone, explore alternative options or fight for their health, that makes it all worth the time spent sharing my experiences.

One Comment on “My experience with the SIBO breath test (spoiler alert: it was not fun)

  1. I’m so glad I’m not the only Last Man Standing fan! I just discovered it a few months ago- I dunno why it’s not more popular cuz it’s hilarious and I find myself nodding my head vigorously in agreement each episode 😂
    Thanks for posting this fascinating progress of your gastric issues. My father has always struggled with it and it’s pretty rough. He was given the IBS diagnosis and left to deal with it in his own. I’m hoping you get some answers. Also, how are your hip and foot issues?? Hopefully with all your going through now those issues are resolved??

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