Jackie Enos

SIBO Testing & What I Wish I Knew

SIBO Breath Test
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SIBO Testing


For those who have been following my health journey (thank you). You know I have been doing lots of testing to find out whats been going on and why my IBS is getting worse. See Gut Health Testing….

While I am still waiting the results from the stool test (sorry if thats TMI for some of you). I had my SIBO test this past week. For those wondering, SIBO is small intestine bacteria overgrowth. Its also pretty common in those with IBS which is a reason I pushed to have it checked.

Before the test I researched how to treat SIBO if I tested positive. One way is a form of an elimination diet or a low FODMAP (carbohydrates hard to digest) diet which I learned about a few years ago.  When these foods can’t break down, they begin to ferment in the gut and can cause diarrhea and bloating. In fact many of the symptoms of SIBO are similar to IBS.

Some of the foods to reduce are:

  • fructose, found in fruits, some veggies, agave and honey
  • lactose, found in dairy
  • fructans, found in gluten products
  • galactans, beans/legumes

I am lactose intolerant and have not had dairy since high school. I also discovered a few years ago I have really bad digestive reactions when I eat wheat or gluten or any type of beans. I don’t eat fruit regularly so this would not really work for me in treating SIBO.

Another way to treat SIBO is antibiotics. Well I have been on and off antibiotics for two years which is why I think I am in this position to begin with. So I went for testing….What they said on the phone is that it is a breath test. It can take up to 3 hours! And to follow the food guide list for the day before as prep.  Basically you cant eat any veggies, fruits, grains, sauces, spices, beans, dairy, soda, juices, heavy meats, nuts or soy.

Here is what I could eat before the SIBO test. Chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, white rice, salt, pepper and tiny bit of olive oil except for the last meal of the night. You also have to stop eating after 7pm and can drink water until midnight. No water or coffee until after the test. They also remind you to brush your teeth lol!

LET ME JUST TELL YOU…. I love protein. I struggled so much on prep day. I craved veggies. I also never use sauces but MAN I missed using some other spices or my beloved coconut amino. I was hungry at the end of the night. Not in a starving way but I felt like everything I ate all day was bland and unsatisfying. I also couldn’t eat my energy and health boosting superfood shake ( missed my daily chocolate fix)! Here were my meals:

  • ground turkey & egg whites & 1 egg with pepper
  • canned tuna with 1/2 tsp Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo black pepper still hungry I had more egg whites
  • plain grilled chicken, black pepper, sea salt and a bowl of Kettle & Fire bone broth

SIBO Testing Prep

My husband had a field day that night. I wanted chocolate. I just wanted something that had FLAVOR! He also enjoyed making breakfast the next morning while I was deprived of my morning coffee! But off to the test I went. Thank goodness I brought headphones. Had I known I was not going to be sitting inside the patients room the full 3 hours I would of brought my laptop to do work. I did however pass the time working from my phone while listening to an book on Audible. Here is how the testing went.

You go in and first drink a thick cup of this clear water mixture. It tasted like thick watered down cough syrup. Then breathe into a bag that blows up. Its put into a machine and you are given a baseline number. Mine was 10. I was told if it tests positive right away I don’t have to stay the full 3 hours. If not I have to stay until the end because the last breathe could test positive! Seriously? I had to set a timer on my phone for every 20 minutes. I would wait back out in the waiting room. When it went off I would just come in on my own, breathe into the bag and leave it on the counter. The awkward part is each time I came in to breathe into the bag, there was often another patient in the room too.

SIBO breath test


SIBO Breath Test

Well the first 5 times were negative….womp womp story of my life. Also I wanted a coffee so bad or just some water my mouth was so dry. Anyways I believe it was the 6th test came back positive. My number was 17. 7 points higher than baseline. I had to wait 20 more minutes to test again to be sure I test positive the second time. Here are my results:



The last two tests are scheduled for next week. A colonoscopy and endoscopy. Still won’t know the stool test results for another week. So stay tuned and again thanks for all the comments/messages/ prayer and well wishes.

I truly appreciate it♥

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