Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) 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. This tests' 3-hour collection method reveals SIBO in patients with slow transit times.
A SIBO breath test requires patients to drink a solution of either glucose or lactulose. Each of these sugars has it respective advantages and disadvantages for diagnosis of SIBO. With lactulose, there is greater ability to diagnose overgrowth in the distal end of the small intestine, which is thought to be most common. With the glucose challenge, absorption occurs faster so the test more accurately diagnoses proximal overgrowth, which is considered more specific to the bacteria of concern.
This invasive bacteria interferes with healthy digestive and absorption processes, leading to unpleasant symptoms and chronic illness.