Does your gut need a reset?

Yes, I'm Ready

Do you want to start feeling better?

Yes, Where Do I Start?

Do you want to start feeling better?

Yes, Where Do I Start?

Is Testing for SIBO Helpful? Maybe Not So Much

The Ins and Outs of SIBO Tests and Treatments

Key Takeaways:
  • The usual way to test for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is a breath test that measures specific gases on your breath.
  • SIBO testing can give a good indication of bacterial overgrowth, but it doesn’t always reflect your symptoms, and sometimes it’s inaccurate.
  • Improving your gut microbiome health can address SIBO-like symptoms, regardless of whether you test positive, negative, or don’t do a SIBO test at all.

If you’re having a lot of unpleasant gut symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, there’s a possibility that you may have SIBO, aka small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

This form of dysbiosis (gut microbiome imbalance) occurs when you have too many bacteria growing in the small intestine—a place where they shouldn’t flourish—causing the symptoms mentioned above, and possibly more.

The good news is that SIBO responds well to natural and conventional treatments. But how do you know if you have this condition? And do you need a definitive diagnosis in order to treat it? In this article, I’ll share with you my experience with SIBO testing and its usefulness. Then I’ll walk you through the simple treatment plan we use in the clinic—it works to improve gut health, regardless of what’s behind our patients’ SIBO-suggestive symptoms.

But before getting into the details of how to test for SIBO, let’s start with the basics of what SIBO is and why it occurs.

What Is SIBO and What Causes It?

Small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO) is when you have higher amounts of bacteria than normal in your small bowel [1].

Some people will have significant symptoms from having elevated numbers of bacteria in the small intestine, whereas others will react less badly. 

Gastrointestinal symptoms common in SIBO usually result from the bacterial buildup causing excessive fermentation and gas production in the intestines. SIBO symptoms in the digestive tract typically include [1]:

  • Bloating/distension
  • Flatulence
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

SIBO can also cause non-gut symptoms including: 

  • Chronic fatigue [2
  • Poor mood [3
  • Brain fog [4
  • Restless legs [5]
  • Skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis [5]

These wider symptoms likely occur because SIBO is an infection that can activate your immune system. 

Recall that your small intestine contains the greatest density of immune cells in your body. So, a bacterial overgrowth there chronically activating your immune system can lead to inflammation and symptoms across all body systems [6, 7]. Inflammation in the gut can also mean you absorb fewer nutrients, which can exacerbate immune dysregulation and resulting symptoms.

Factors that may contribute to SIBO include [8]: 

  • Gut dysbiosis 
  • Reduced stomach acid
  • Gut structural abnormalities or motility (digestive tract movement) problems, caused by conditions like
    • gastric bypass surgery 
    • celiac disease
    • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), typically Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis 
    • irritable bowel syndrome (SIBO is common in people with IBS, and the symptoms often overlap) [9]
  • Living with diabetes, hypothyroidism, or obesity [10, 11]

How To Test for SIBO

If you have symptoms that are suggestive of SIBO, or if you have gut issues and are at high risk of SIBO, it makes sense that you might want to get tested for SIBO.

The two main types of tests are:

  1. Sample collection directly from the small intestine (small intestinal culture or aspirate)
  2. Breath tests, e.g. hydrogen breath testing

Direct Sampling

Having a sample taken that directly measures the number of bacteria in the small intestine can give the most accurate diagnosis of SIBO. 

Depending on the location within the small intestine, a normal amount of bacteria is between 10,000 and 100 million colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL). Anything higher than this found in a small intestinal aspirate means you have SIBO. 

Fun fact: The normal numbers of bacteria in the small intestine are at least 10 times less than the typical concentration in the large intestine [1].

Unfortunately, giving a sample of your small intestinal contents is invasive and expensive (upwards of $1,500 if you don’t have health insurance) and not always accurate [12, 13]. You would only have a SIBO test done this way if you were already getting an upper endoscopy (tube from the mouth down into the first part of the small intestine) for some other reason, and your gastroenterologist suspected an overgrowth.

That said, if you have symptoms suggestive of SIBO and you happen to have an upper endoscopy scheduled, you can ask the gastroenterologist if they’ll do a SIBO culture at the same time, for the most definitive results. 

Breath Testing

Breath tests for SIBO are more common and much easier to do [12]. However, they are also less reliable and can still be quite expensive (e.g. $199 to $350 without insurance). There are many such tests available to buy on the internet; your doctor can help you choose a reliable one if you are uncertain.

The two types of SIBO breath tests use lactulose or glucose to measure the gas coming from your small intestine [13]. 

With both tests, you’ll drink a sugary liquid (lactulose or glucose) and, at prescribed intervals afterward, you’ll breathe into a device that captures the gas from your lungs into test tubes. 

You’ll then send the multiple tubes of breath samples to a lab for analysis and wait for the results. The gases they’ll focus on measuring include hydrogen and methane.

Although both test kits are similarly accurate, the glucose test appears to have fewer false positives than lactulose, meaning it’s less likely to say SIBO is present when it’s not [14, 15]. Glucose doesn’t reach the large intestine, which is naturally very gaseous—less gas from the colon may help reduce false positives [13].

To minimize false positives from a lactulose test, the window for testing gases in the breath shouldn’t go beyond 80–90 minutes. Results beyond 90 minutes are more likely to show false positives for SIBO because they start measuring elevated gas levels from the large intestine rather than just the small intestine [13]. 

Overall, both breath tests can help diagnose SIBO as long as someone interprets them skillfully. However, it’s worth knowing that test results and symptoms don’t always correlate [16]. For example, 

  • Your SIBO test could be negative (saying no SIBO is present), even though you actually have SIBO or symptoms that suggest it [16].
  • You could test positive for SIBO but not have any SIBO-typical symptoms. In other words, it’s possible to have SIBO without any symptoms (asymptomatic SIBO), or to have SIBO secondarily to a condition which causes non-SIBO-like symptoms that stand out more than your gut symptoms. Both situations would make you less likely to test for SIBO in the first place [17]. 

Why I Don’t Routinely Recommend SIBO Breath Tests 

A positive SIBO test result can be helpful to confirm that bacterial overgrowth is likely behind your gut symptoms.

But as we’ve seen above, your SIBO test result does not always accurately correlate with how sick you feel, and false negatives (results showing no SIBO though you have it) are also possible.

After evaluating published research and my clinical experience over the years, I no longer routinely recommend diagnostic tests for SIBO.

The main reason I find SIBO testing isn’t worthwhile is that the results make no difference to how my patients move forward. That means they can benefit from the same gut-health treatments, regardless of whether they test positive or negative for SIBO

The most disheartening examples that contribute to my position on this are people whose negative SIBO tests stood in the way of them getting helpful treatment for their SIBO-like symptoms.

The bottom line? Whether your gut suffers from SIBO, a fungal overgrowth, leaky gut, or some other condition related to microbial imbalance, you have a good chance of benefiting from a well-rounded treatment plan to bring your gut back to health.

Now let’s look at what I’ve found is an effective SIBO treatment plan, remembering that this approach can work for other types of microbiome imbalances, too. 

How To Treat SIBO

As a food-first healthcare practitioner, I generally recommend that my patients start by tackling their gut symptoms with diet. 

Given the huge overlap between SIBO and IBS symptoms (up to 40% of people with IBS likely have SIBO [9], I generally recommend that my patients jump straight in with a low-FODMAP diet.


FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly. Examples of high-FODMAP foods include onions, garlic, dairy products, legumes, wheat, pears, and dried fruits.

Some people experience digestive distress after eating high-FODMAP foods, especially if they have IBS or SIBO (or both), which is why a low-FODMAP diet can be useful for gut symptoms. 

Indeed, multiple meta-analyses have determined that a low-FODMAP diet improves overall digestive symptoms, abdominal pain, and quality of life in people with IBS-type symptoms [18, 19, 20, 21].

There is far less research looking at how a low-FODMAP diet affects SIBO specifically. However, one recent clinical trial showed a 30% improvement in SIBO (as measured by breath gases) after just two weeks of removing FODMAPs from the diet [22]. Another clinical trial found that a low-FODMAP diet was effective for IBS patients whether or not they had SIBO [23].

When you get started with the low-FODMAP diet, it’s ideal to work with a skilled dietician or nutritionist who will give you a reliable list of which high-FODMAP foods to remove and which foods to include. To give you a sense, here is a summary list of low-FODMAP foods:

How to test for SIBO

You can also download this useful app to help with the elimination process and navigate the reintroduction phase that follows.

For suspected SIBO, I recommend that my patients eliminate FODMAPs for 4–6 weeks to give the diet a fair test. If you do choose to try the low-FODMAP diet and find it calms your symptoms significantly, you may be tempted just to stay with that restricted diet because you don’t want your symptoms to return. Ultimately, though, the goal should be to achieve a more nutritionally varied diet by reintroducing higher-FODMAP foods one by one and figuring out your tolerance level to each food. 

However, there is no need to rush things—recent research suggests it’s probably safe to stay on a balanced low-FODMAP diet for up to a year [24]. 


The other main strategy that helps to get rid of SIBO and soothe symptoms is to take a probiotic. I almost always recommend that my patients do this while they trial a low-FODMAP diet. Here’s why: In the clinical trial I mentioned of a 2-week low-FODMAP diet for SIBO , adding the probiotic S. boulardii on top of dietary changes ramped up SIBO improvement from 30% to 40% [22].

How to test for SIBO

Several more studies show probiotics can be very effective in treating SIBO. Indeed, one meta-analysis of 18 studies showed that probiotics of many varieties and strains eradicated SIBO in about 53% of people who took them [25]. 

A 2019 clinical trial also found that probiotics were more effective for GI symptoms in people with SIBO than without [26]. This puts to bed the argument you may have heard that probiotics aren’t good for SIBO patients.

Probiotics may help SIBO (and microbiome health in general) by [25]: 

  • Reducing leaky gut & inflammation 
  • Resolving dysbiosis (bacterial imbalances) and fungal overgrowths 
  • Improving gut motility 
  • Improving the gut-brain connection, limbic system, and stress response

After they experiment with a low-FODMAP diet and probiotics for 4–6 weeks, I coach my patients to assess their progress. If you and your healthcare provider try a low-FODMAP diet and probiotics, but your symptoms don’t improve, it may be time to consider a course of antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials.


Rifaximin (brand name Xifaxan), is the conventional antibiotic (a type of antimicrobial) used the most for addressing SIBO. This antibiotic may eradicate SIBO in up to 50–60% of infected patients [27, 28], but its costliness and lack of coverage by some insurance plans may pose challenges. 

On that note, some insurers will cover your prescription for rifaximin if you have a confirmed positive SIBO result from a breath test. This is one instance where it can be useful to get tested.

In any case, rifaximin may reduce GI symptoms, regardless of whether SIBO is causing them. For example, in one study, the antibiotic appeared to improve GI symptoms, even when the participants had a negative SIBO test before they took it. Symptoms also improved with rifaximin, whether the drug eradicated SIBO or not [29]. 

This all adds support to my previous point that the same gut-supportive treatments can help, no matter what type of gut microbiome imbalance you have. If your symptoms suggest SIBO, you’re probably better off using them—rather than a breath test—to guide your treatment and gauge your success.

Natural Antimicrobials

If my patients can’t get or don’t want to use the conventional antibiotic rifaximin, natural antimicrobials are a useful workaround that can be similarly effective against SIBO.

For example, a 2014 paper found that herbal antimicrobials eradicated SIBO in 46% of patients, which was a higher success rate than rifaximin in this particular study [30]. Similarly, in a clinical trial our team conducted, herbal antimicrobials, either alone or with enzymes that dissolve biofilms (which are like tiny bacterial fortresses), successfully eradicated SIBO in approximately 40% of patients. 

One example of an herbal antimicrobial that is particularly beneficial due to its broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties is oregano oil. Its broad-spectrum effects may allow oregano to help gut symptoms even if you don’t have confirmed SIBO. In other words, it can help to clear your gut of unwanted microbes, such as overgrowths of bacteria, fungi, or parasites [31, 32].

Other effective herbs you may see in an herbal antimicrobial formula are berberine [33, 34] and sweet wormwood [35, 36]. 

The primary distinction between herbal antimicrobials and antibiotics like rifaximin lies in their time frame for effectiveness. While rifaximin typically yields results within 10–14 days, herbal antimicrobials require at least a month to demonstrate benefits [30]. 

However, herbal antimicrobials are gentler on the body and do not contribute to bacterial resistance in the same way as conventional antibiotics [37].

Antibiotics and Probiotics Are a Perfect Double Act

Taken together (though ideally at opposite ends of the day), probiotics and antimicrobials can be a dream team when it comes to clearing SIBO and improving symptoms. As you may recall, probiotics and rifaximin taken individually can each reduce SIBO by around 50% [25, 27, 28]. 

However, when rifaximin and probiotic supplements are taken together, the eradication rate can rise to as high as 86% [25]. Taking probiotics alongside antibiotics can also help to prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea [38].

An Elemental Diet

Another option for taming SIBO symptoms is an elemental diet, which is a liquid hypoallergenic diet that provides all the nutrients we need in a partially digested form.

An elemental diet is largely devoid of the carbs and prebiotic fibers that feed bacteria in the small intestine. As such, the diet can feed you while starving any excess bacteria growing there.

For some people, moving over to an elemental diet for a short period can be the best fix for their SIBO symptoms. A 2004 clinical trial with 93 patients found that a 2-week elemental diet may have eradicated SIBO in 80% of them [39]. However, the elemental diet isn’t for everyone, and I generally recommend that my patients try the low-FODMAP and probiotics route first. 

When my patients are sure they want to commit to the elemental diet as their main SIBO treatment, I coach them on using this therapy exclusively for 1–3 weeks. This is about the right amount of time to kill significant bacterial overgrowths.

However, most of my patients use an elemental diet to boost their SIBO treatment (low-FODMAP diet, probiotics, and antimicrobials), and for them, 4 days is the maximum term I would suggest.

It’s also an option to use elemental shakes as partial meal replacements. When my patients with SIBO opt for this, I guide them to replace breakfast and lunch with an elemental shake, and then put more effort into planning an enjoyable low-FODMAP dinner.

Treating Is More Important Than Testing

Think you might have SIBO? Spending a lot of money on diagnosing it is probably unnecessary when a simple and safe gut health regimen can usually have a big positive effect on your symptoms.

Knowing about the options I’ve outlined—a low-FODMAP diet, probiotic therapy, and perhaps antimicrobials or an elemental diet—you now have a lot of power in your hands. Whether SIBO is producing uncomfortable symptoms, like gas, diarrhea, bloating, and brain fog, improving your microbiome health with your healthcare provider’s support will likely help. 

But if you still can’t quite get on top of suspected SIBO, don’t fret. You can check out my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, which dives deeper with the Great-in-8 gut-healing protocol, or you can contact us at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Health to schedule an appointment.

The Ruscio Institute has developed a range of high-quality formulations to help our patients and audience. If you’re interested in learning more about these products, please click here. Note that there are many other options available, and we encourage you to research which products may be right for you.

➕ References
  1. Kastl AJ, Terry NA, Wu GD, Albenberg LG. The structure and function of the human small intestinal microbiota: current understanding and future directions. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;9(1):33–45. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2019.07.006. PMID: 31344510. PMCID: PMC6881639.
  2. Grace E, Shaw C, Whelan K, Andreyev HJN. Review article: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth–prevalence, clinical features, current and developing diagnostic tests, and treatment. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;38(7):674–88. DOI: 10.1111/apt.12456. PMID: 23957651.
  3. Kossewska J, Bierlit K, Trajkovski V. Personality, Anxiety, and Stress in Patients with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome. The Polish Preliminary Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Dec 21;20(1). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20010093. PMID: 36612414. PMCID: PMC9819554.
  4. Rao SSC, Rehman A, Yu S, Andino NM de. Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2018 Jun 19;9(6):162. DOI: 10.1038/s41424-018-0030-7. PMID: 29915215. PMCID: PMC6006167.
  5. Efremova I, Maslennikov R, Poluektova E, Vasilieva E, Zharikov Y, Suslov A, et al. Epidemiology of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. World J Gastroenterol. 2023 Jun 14;29(22):3400–21. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v29.i22.3400. PMID: 37389240. PMCID: PMC10303511.
  6. Lazar V, Ditu L-M, Pircalabioru GG, Gheorghe I, Curutiu C, Holban AM, et al. Aspects of gut microbiota and immune system interactions in infectious diseases, immunopathology, and cancer. Front Immunol. 2018 Aug 15;9:1830. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01830. PMID: 30158926. PMCID: PMC6104162.
  7. Wu H-J, Wu E. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes. 2012 Feb;3(1):4–14. DOI: 10.4161/gmic.19320. PMID: 22356853. PMCID: PMC3337124.
  8. Sorathia SJ, Rivas JM. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. PMID: 31536241.
  9. Chen B, Kim JJ-W, Zhang Y, Du L, Dai N. Prevalence and predictors of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jul;53(7):807–18. DOI: 10.1007/s00535-018-1476-9. PMID: 29761234.
  10. Pimentel M, Saad RJ, Long MD, Rao SSC. ACG clinical guideline: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Feb;115(2):165–78. DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000501. PMID: 32023228.
  11. Roland BC, Lee D, Miller LS, Vegesna A, Yolken R, Severance E, et al. Obesity increases the risk of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Mar;30(3). DOI: 10.1111/nmo.13199. PMID: 28940740.
  12. Rao SSC, Bhagatwala J. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: clinical features and therapeutic management. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2019 Oct;10(10):e00078. DOI: 10.14309/ctg.0000000000000078. PMID: 31584459. PMCID: PMC6884350.
  13. Rezaie A, Buresi M, Lembo A, Lin H, McCallum R, Rao S, et al. Hydrogen and Methane-Based Breath Testing in Gastrointestinal Disorders: The North American Consensus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 May;112(5):775–84. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2017.46. PMID: 28323273. PMCID: PMC5418558.
  14. Losurdo G, Leandro G, Ierardi E, Perri F, Barone M, Principi M, et al. Breath Tests for the Non-invasive Diagnosis of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2020 Jan 30;26(1):16–28. DOI: 10.5056/jnm19113. PMID: 31743632. PMCID: PMC6955189.
  15. Shah A, Talley NJ, Jones M, Kendall BJ, Koloski N, Walker MM, et al. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies. Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Feb;115(2):190–201. DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000504. PMID: 31913194.
  16. Plauzolles A, Uras S, Pénaranda G, Bonnet M, Dukan P, Retornaz F, et al. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowths and Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowths Breath Testing in a Real-Life French Cohort. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2023 Apr 1;14(4):e00556. DOI: 10.14309/ctg.0000000000000556. PMID: 36515897. PMCID: PMC10132713.
  17. Skrzydło-Radomańska B, Cukrowska B. How to recognize and treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth? J Clin Med. 2022 Oct 12;11(20). DOI: 10.3390/jcm11206017. PMID: 36294338. PMCID: PMC9604644.
  18. van Lanen A-S, de Bree A, Greyling A. Efficacy of a low-FODMAP diet in adult irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr. 2021 Sep;60(6):3505–22. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-020-02473-0. PMID: 33585949. PMCID: PMC8354978.
  19. Black CJ, Staudacher HM, Ford AC. Efficacy of a low FODMAP diet in irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and network meta-analysis. Gut. 2022 Jun;71(6):1117–26. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-325214. PMID: 34376515.
  20. Marsh A, Eslick EM, Eslick GD. Does a diet low in FODMAPs reduce symptoms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders? A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Apr;55(3):897–906. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-015-0922-1. PMID: 25982757.
  21. Altobelli E, Del Negro V, Angeletti PM, Latella G. Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 26;9(9). DOI: 10.3390/nu9090940. PMID: 28846594. PMCID: PMC5622700.
  22. Bustos Fernández LM, Man F, Lasa JS. Impact of Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 on Bacterial Overgrowth and Composition of Intestinal Microbiota in Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients: Results of a Randomized Pilot Study. Dig Dis. 2023 Jan 11;41(5):798–809. DOI: 10.1159/000528954. PMID: 36630947.
  23. Więcek M, Panufnik P, Kaniewska M, Lewandowski K, Rydzewska G. Low-FODMAP Diet for the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Remission of IBD. Nutrients. 2022 Oct 29;14(21). DOI: 10.3390/nu14214562. PMID: 36364824. PMCID: PMC9658010.
  24. Bardacke JA, Yarrow L, Rosenkranz SK. The Long-Term Effects of a Low-Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Management. Curr Dev Nutr. 2023 Oct;7(10):101997. DOI: 10.1016/j.cdnut.2023.101997. PMID: 37807975. PMCID: PMC10550809.
  25. Zhong C, Qu C, Wang B, Liang S, Zeng B. Probiotics for Preventing and Treating Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Current Evidence. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2017 Apr;51(4):300–11. DOI: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000814. PMID: 28267052.
  26. Leventogiannis K, Gkolfakis P, Spithakis G, Tsatali A, Pistiki A, Sioulas A, et al. Effect of a Preparation of Four Probiotics on Symptoms of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Association with Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2019 Jun;11(2):627–34. DOI: 10.1007/s12602-018-9401-3. PMID: 29508268. PMCID: PMC6541575.
  27. Shah SC, Day LW, Somsouk M, Sewell JL. Meta-analysis: antibiotic therapy for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;38(8):925–34. DOI: 10.1111/apt.12479. PMID: 24004101. PMCID: PMC3819138.
  28. Wang J, Zhang L, Hou X. Efficacy of rifaximin in treating with small intestine bacterial overgrowth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Dec;15(12):1385–99. DOI: 10.1080/17474124.2021.2005579. PMID: 34767484.
  29. Zhuang X, Tian Z, Luo M, Xiong L. Short-course Rifaximin therapy efficacy and lactulose hydrogen breath test in Chinese patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. BMC Gastroenterol. 2020 Jun 12;20(1):187. DOI: 10.1186/s12876-020-01336-6. PMID: 32532214. PMCID: PMC7291629.
  30. Chedid V, Dhalla S, Clarke JO, Roland BC, Dunbar KB, Koh J, et al. Herbal therapy is equivalent to rifaximin for the treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 May;3(3):16–24. DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2014.019. PMID: 24891990. PMCID: PMC4030608.
  31. Vázquez-Fresno R, Rosana ARR, Sajed T, Onookome-Okome T, Wishart NA, Wishart DS. Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies – A Systematic Review. Genes Nutr. 2019 May 22;14:18. DOI: 10.1186/s12263-019-0636-8. PMID: 31143299. PMCID: PMC6532192.
  32. Nagoor Meeran MF, Javed H, Al Taee H, Azimullah S, Ojha SK. Pharmacological properties and molecular mechanisms of thymol: prospects for its therapeutic potential and pharmaceutical development. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 26;8:380. DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00380. PMID: 28694777. PMCID: PMC5483461.
  33. Hu Q, Peng Z, Li L, Zou X, Xu L, Gong J, et al. The Efficacy of Berberine-Containing Quadruple Therapy on Helicobacter Pylori Eradication in China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1694. DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01694. PMID: 32116685. PMCID: PMC7010642.
  34. Chen C, Tao C, Liu Z, Lu M, Pan Q, Zheng L, et al. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Berberine Hydrochloride in Patients with Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Phytother Res. 2015 Nov;29(11):1822–7. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.5475. PMID: 26400188.
  35. Shen Z, Zhang P, Kang W, Chen X, Li H, Shao Y, et al. Clinical efficacy in one-year treatment with Artemisia annua-SLIT drops in monosensitized and polysensitized individuals. Am J Otolaryngol. 2023 Jul 15;44(6):104002. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2023.104002. PMID: 37478537.
  36. Lou H, Huang Y, Ouyang Y, Zhang Y, Xi L, Chu X, et al. Artemisia annua-sublingual immunotherapy for seasonal allergic rhinitis: A randomized controlled trial. Allergy. 2020 Aug;75(8):2026–36. DOI: 10.1111/all.14218. PMID: 32030780.
  37. Anand U, Jacobo-Herrera N, Altemimi A, Lakhssassi N. A comprehensive review on medicinal plants as antimicrobial therapeutics: potential avenues of biocompatible drug discovery. Metabolites. 2019 Nov 1;9(11). DOI: 10.3390/metabo9110258. PMID: 31683833. PMCID: PMC6918160.
  38. Liao W, Chen C, Wen T, Zhao Q. Probiotics for the Prevention of Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2021 Jul 1;55(6):469–80. DOI: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001464. PMID: 33234881. PMCID: PMC8183490.
  39. Pimentel M, Constantino T, Kong Y, Bajwa M, Rezaei A, Park S. A 14-day elemental diet is highly effective in normalizing the lactulose breath test. Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Jan;49(1):73–7. DOI: 10.1023/b:ddas.0000011605.43979.e1. PMID: 14992438.

Need help or would like to learn more?
View Dr. Ruscio’s, DC additional resources

Get Help


I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!