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IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, FODMAPs TESTING and SIBO

With information on research, testing and appointments

WTF – stands for What the Fodmap!

Are you that person who wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror to see what we all want to see a ‘flat tummy’ ?

How wonderful, you want to keep this sylph-like look but there’s that nagging feeling that as the day goes on your tummy is going to swell.

By noon you look three months pregnant and by the end of the working day you feel six months pregnant!

Your clothes have to be chosen very carefully as what looked fabulous in the morning now looks tight and frumpy!

There is a very good reason for this you may be suffering from a FODMAP intolerance.

What does FODMAP stand for ?

The acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

Now don’t worry, you don’t have to try and remember that!  But there is a list in the right hand column of this page under FODMAP Foods, listing some common foods in each of these groups.

How do FODMAPs relate to IBS  ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome ) ?

Research shows that malabsorption of FODMAPs, and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth,(SIBO) are leading causes of IBS symptoms.

What are FODMAPs

FODMAPs are  naturally occurring sugars found in milk, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, cereals and processed foods.

Common FODMAP sugars include Fructose, Lactose, Sorbitol, Mannitol, as well as Sucrose.

These dietary sugars can be poorly absorbed in the gut, and can cause painful gut symptoms in IBS patients, as well as in some patients with coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Following a professional diagnosis ( supported by FODMAPs testing ) of poor absorption, a diet with restricted intake of FODMAPs has been shown in clinical studies to provide long-term symptom relief in approximately 75% of IBS sufferers.

What are typical FODMAP foods?

Fermentable

Oligosaccharide

  • Artichoke, asparagus, leek, onion, garlic, spring onion, beetroot
  • Wheat, rye
  • Watermelon, nectarines
  • Lentils, chickpeas, beans
  • Cashews, pistachios

Disaccharide

  • Dairy products

Monosaccharide

  • Apples, pears, mango, figs, dried fruits
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Honey

Polyol

  • Avocado, lychee, apricots, blackberries, plums, prunes
  • Mushroom, cauliflower, snow peas
  • Artificial sweeteners – mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol and isomalt.
Holly and Jennifer - Our Clinical Nutritionists

Holly and Jennifer - Our Clinical Nutritionists

The good news is that with evidence-based FODMAPs testing and elimination protocols, many of these intolerances can be resolved and managed to dramatically improve or eliminate symptoms.

In fact, a FODMAP dietary protocol informed by breath tests has been shown to provide significant long-term symptomatic improvement in 75% of IBS sufferers. The testing is simple, non-invasive breath testing, suitable for both adults and children, with accurate results that we can utilise to develop an elimination and re-introduction protocol personalised to you.

Available all across Australia.   It does not matter where home is; our service is available across Australia from WA to Tasmania – any city or regional town, any postal address.  So even if you can’t get in to see us we can send you a FODMAP testing kit to do the test in the comfort of your own home.

Our Clinical Nutritionists Jennifer and Holly are experts at helping people follow a low FODMAP diet. Between them they hold B.Sc, M.Sc as well as FODMAPs certs from Monash University!

We are here to ‘Get Rid of Your Bloat’ so what are you waiting for!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a complex disorder which causes chronic gut symptoms. Typical symptoms include: abdominal bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain/discomfort and altered bowel habits (diarrhoea/constipation).

It can be caused by various factors. There is no simple cure for IBS and symptoms can be frustrating to control.

Overall, management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms using over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications only provides short-term temporary relief, with variable effectiveness.

What are the leading causes of IBS symptoms?

Even though there may be many causes of IBS symptoms, research shows that malabsorption of FODMAPs,  Small and  Bacterial Overgrowth,(SIBO) and Food Intolerances are leading causes of IBS symptoms.

For more information on FODMAPs and SIBO read the next sections on this page

IBS patients are chronic sufferers seeking answers, many never seek professional attention – don’t be one of them !

view of inflamed intestines before FODMAPs testing

What is SIBO ?

In a healthy person there are relatively few bacteria living in the small intestine.

Overgrowth ( too many ) of these bacteria, a condition known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) in certain individuals causes symptoms almost identical to IBS.

Patients with SIBO may also have unexplained weight loss and less frequently, nutritional deficiencies (such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency).

High risk groups for SIBO

  • Disorders of certain gut mechanisms, e.g. achlorhydria (absent or low stomach acid), pancreatic exocrine insufficiency ( a lack of digestive enzymes that help digest food )
  • Anatomical abnormalities of the small bowel, e.g. Crohn’s disease, small intestinal obstruction, previous ileo-caecal resection ( removal of diseased tissue at the end of the small intestine )
  • Conditions causing motility disorders, e.g. scleroderma, diabetes
  • IBS or functional gut disorder
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pancreatitis or liver cirrhosis

traffic light colouring of 3 women with stomach pains before FODMAPs testing

Take the pain out of IBS.

Take our Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test

This is a simple, painless and non-invasive test to accurately diagnose FODMAP malabsorption and SIBO.

Bacteria in the colon (large intestine) produce either hydrogen and/or methane gas when ingested sugars are not completely absorbed in the small intestine.

The gas is absorbed into the bloodstream from the bowel and travels to the lungs where it is expelled though breathing, allowing detection by an analyser.

Breath testing is available Australia–wide from Perth Allergy Clinic or Allergy Testing on Line via a convenient home test kit.

Cost is $175 for one sugar and $100 per sugar thereafter. No other charges, includes all postage and processing.

Scroll down to see our purchase options…

How Does the Breath Test Work?

Common dietary sugars such as lactose and fructose are normally absorbed in the small intestine. However, some people do not completely absorb these sugars and they pass into the colon (large intestine) where they are fermented by bacteria to produce either hydrogen (H2) or methane (CH4) gas, or a combination of both.

In FODMAP intolerance an orally-ingested test sugar will be incompletely absorbed in the small intestine, leading to fermentation and gas production in the colon. These gases are absorbed into the bloodstream and expired via the lungs, allowing detection by breath testing. As these gases are not produced by humans, they are evidence of sugar fermentation by intestinal bacteria and hence breath tests are highly specific.

FODMAP Intolerance and SIBO are indicated by a significant rise in breath hydrogen or methane levels above baseline during the test.

As a quantitative test it can also provide some information on the degree of intolerance.

Why Should I Consider Breath Testing?

Medical studies show professional dietary FODMAP management supported by breath test results provides significant and long-term symptom improvement in 75% of IBS patients. This evidence far outweighs any other pharmaceutical or dietary strategy for IBS management.

You can Beat the Bloat…

Get Answers and Return to Normal !

Take our simple test.

A hydrogen and methane breath test is a valuable diagnostic tool to accurately predict FODMAP intolerance and SIBO. It is useful as part of routine diagnostic workup and to guide a targeted evidence-based dietary approach.

This is a simple, painless and non-invasive test to accurately diagnose FODMAP malabsorption and SIBO.

What happens after I take the test?

Following diagnosis of malabsorption, a diet with restricted intake of FODMAPs has been shown in clinical studies to provide long-term symptom relief in approximately 75% of IBS sufferers.

The process of eliminating (and re-introducing) certain food groups needs to be carefully and professionally planned to not only manage the elimination of certain foods but at the same time to maintain a nutritionally balanced healthy food intake.

We do not recommend patients try themselves to withdraw certain foods from their diet without objective evidence and professional advice.

Treatment to repair the gut lining and gut wall are often an accompanying strategy. Because FODMAPs and gut health often go hand in hand our clinic and practitioners also specialise in gut repair.

Our in-house clinical nutritionists Jennifer and Holly are specially trained to guide you through the complete journey to restored gut health.

Available Tests

Hydrogen/methane breath tests are highly specific and sensitive tools for the diagnosis of FODMAP malabsorption and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

See the table below for the tests we offer and the issues they are designed to address:

Testing Demonstration

Watch Priya, one of our SIBO practitioners, demonstrate how to take a SIBO test.

FODMAPs Testing

FODMAPs are rapidly fermented, poorly absorbed dietary sugars

We can test for the following sugars – click on a tab below for more info.

SIBO Tests

SIBO is the abnormal overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

We offer 3 levels of SIBO testing – click a tab below for more info.

Go straight to Testing ?

Purchase tests on-line by following a link below…

Discuss options first ?

Book an Appointment by following this link…

( Phone and Telehealth also available )

Want to go straight to Testing ?  Select the Testing button >>>

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