Can my general practitioner test for SIBO?

SIBO is behind more than 70% of IBS cases. Fortunately, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) has received more and more attention over the past few years. More patients with IBS are finally finding out what is behind their symptoms, getting treatment, and feeling like themselves again. 

On the other hand, SIBO recognition has been slow, and many doctors still have never even heard of it! During my SIBO journey, I met practitioners at both ends of the spectrum: some who knew all there is to know about treating and beating SIBO and others who returned my SIBO inquiries with a blank stare.

Luckily, I was able to work with specialists and experts who really knew their SIBO stuff. However, if you don’t have access to doctors like these or have used the same beloved general practitioner for years but they don’t know about SIBO, don’t worry. I’ve seen many practitioners who hadn’t ever heard of SIBO put in the time and effort to learn about it for their patients and become specialists themselves. 

(Are you a practitioner or is your practitioner looking to jumpstart their SIBO education? My practitioner and SIBO specialist Dr. Allison Siebecker has created a EMA certified course with hours of video lessons, a 200+ page clinicians handbook, bonus masterclasses, and more. Look into enrolling or sharing the SIBO Pro Course with your practitioner here.)

What is SIBO?

SIBO occurs when an excess of bacteria typically located in the colon infiltrates the small intestine. This intrusion disrupts normal digestion, leading to an array of uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, and more.

There are three types of SIBO based on three different gasses that these unwanted bacteria produce in the small intestine. These are hydrogen SIBO, methane SIBO, and hydrogen sulfide SIBO.


A SIBO breath test consists of drinking a sugar solution and then blowing into tubes over the course of a few hours. This measures different gasses that the pathogenic bacteria in your small intestine create. If levels of these gasses are present, you’re positive for SIBO. Depending on which gasses you’re positive for, you’ll also know which type of SIBO you have. 

Can My General Practitioner Test for SIBO? 

While you can bring your SIBO concerns to your general practitioner and work with them on treatment, you most often can’t get tested for SIBO at a general practitioner’s office. Instead, you’ll need to have them refer you to a gastroenterologist who can conduct the test at their clinic. 

Alternatively, you can order a SIBO breath test at home, where you can complete the multiple hours-long test in the comfort of your home and send it into a lab. Then, you can bring the results for interpretation to the practitioner you’re working with. If you’re looking for the best at-home SIBO tests, click here

While testing for and getting a SIBO diagnosis can be stressful, taking these steps signal the beginning of your healing journey. We’re proud of you for beginning to take control of your health. You deserve to be well!

If you’re looking for more SIBO testing information, our Ultimate Guide to Testing for SIBO will help you gain clarity around this important topic to navigate the maze of SIBO/IMO testing and create an action plan to resolve your symptoms. 

You’ll learn the importance of testing and how it can guide your treatment, the 3 ways to be tested for SIBO, what a breath test is, how to choose the right test, do and donts for testing mornings, and how to interpret your results. Get Our Ultimate Guide to Testing for SIBO now!
If you’re looking for a comprehensive plan to test, treat, and heal SIBO, we’d love to introduce you to our SIBO Recovery Roadmap® Course. It’s the only course that will walk you through the 9-step proven method to treating SIBO used by SIBO specialist Dr. Allison Siebecker and pioneered by Dr. Mark Pimental (the doctor who discovered SIBO in the first place)!

Never miss a live class! Get transformational health tips with Shivan from IBS, SIBO/IMO and the best minds in the digestive health world! Register here to receive class notifications (and more!) through your email


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