Articles on: Interpreting your results

Helpful tips to understand your results

Look for High Readings

When you see increases in your breath readings, that indicates that what you ate or drank hasn’t been fully digested and is now being fermented in your gut by the bacteria that live there. After a breath test, the app will show you the meals you’ve logged. It will also show you how much of those hard-to-digest FODMAPs are in each meal, so you can link an increase in breath readings to something you ate or drank.

It's Personal to You

Everyone has a completely different mix of gut microbes. So even if you eat a meal high in a FODMAP, the gut microbes you have may not be able break down that undigested FODMAP through fermentation. For this reason, you won’t always have large amount of gas production in your gut after having some FODMAPs. Crucially, it depends on which FODMAPs you can tolerate.

Quantity Matters

It’s not “all or nothing”. Usually you can have at least some amount of any of the FODMAPs. You may find for a particular FODMAP, that the amount you can handle is very low but the core take-away is that you need to find what your tolerance level is for different FODMAPs.

Timing Matters

Your digestive tract is effectively a long tube, so things that you eat will take some time to get through your stomach and reach the part of your gut that contains most of your gut microbes (your colon). This will vary from person to person and from meal to meal. Liquids generally move much faster and usually pass directly through the stomach, so you’ll see the effects of liquids faster. Different FODMAPs also ferment at different speeds. For example, simpler FODMAPs like fructose or lactose, can be broken down easily and are fermented more rapidly. Inulin is a more complex carbohydrate, so it’s harder to break down. This means it may take longer for you to see a breath peak with inulin, but it can persist for a longer time.

Gut Sensitivity

Some peoples’ guts are a lot more sensitive to being inflated. The gases that are produced during fermentation can do this. Also water can be drawn into the gut by some FODMAPs, especially simpler FODMAPs like fructose and lactose. The combined effect of the gases and the water can inflate the gut, potentially causing pain and bloating.

Gut Transit

For some people the gases that are produced during fermentation will be released faster from the body. However, for some, the gases will move more slowly. This can build up causing pain and bloating.

Updated on: 20/09/2023

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