Diagnostic breath testing

We provide comprehensive & personalised breath testing services

Breath testing for irritable bowel syndrome and food intolerances – low FODMAP diet

DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING

DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING FOR ABDOMINAL SYMPTOMS​

Food intolerances are among the most common cause of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, wind and pain. All of us know that we may develop abdominal symptoms with different foods. With so many diets advertised, how do you know where to start to manage your abdominal symptoms effectively?

Who may benefit from Diagnostic Breath Testing?

The low FODMAP diet has been scientifically and clinically shown to reduce functional abdominal symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease (not responding to a standard gluten-free diet) and inflammatory bowel disease (with limited inflammation).

DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING

WHY SEE US FOR DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING?

We are the first group in New Zealand and the only group in Christchurch to offer a comprehensive service of hydrogen and methane testing to diagnose dietary causes for abdominal symptoms. Our experienced and friendly staff perform diagnostic breath testing throughout the week and can answer any questions that you might have. Our Gastroenterologists have many years of experience in interpreting and reporting diagnostic breath tests and work closely with the Dietitians at Dietary Specialists

WHAT IS DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING?

This non-invasive test is the most effective way of determining whether someone absorbs carbohydrates (sugars) that can be triggers for IBS symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, wind and abdominal pain. Diagnostic breath testing can guide an appropriately trained dietitian to advise you about a low FODMAP diet.

WHAT DOES TESTING INVOLVE?

Testing occurs over three days. Before each test, you must eat a low fermentable diet for 24 hours and have nothing to eat from midnight before the day of the test. On arrival, you will meet our testing staff who will explain the test in more detail and answer any questions that you may have.

Breath hydrogen is measured on arrival using a small handheld device. Next, a small drink of lactulose, fructose or lactose is consumed, and then the breath test is repeated every fifteen minutes for up to three hours. Measuring breath hydrogen is as easy as holding your breath for 15 seconds and then gently exhaling into the small breath testing machine. In 15% of patients, hydrogen is not produced, and methane needs to be measured as well. In these cases, we will ask you to blow into a self-sealing bag.

IS BREATH TESTING SAFE?

Diagnostic Breath Testing is a safe test that is non-invasive and simply requires you to blow into a machine for 2-3 hours on three separate days. The carbohydrates that are given are naturally occurring and are given in concentrations less than the recommended daily intake. For people who mal-absorb carbohydrates, symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea may occur, but these are generally mild.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DIAGNOSTIC BREATH TESTING?

The information gathered from breath testing is only useful when it is interpreted by an experienced gastroenterologist and then acted on by a FODMAP diet-trained Specialist Dietitian. Professor Richard Gearry and Dr Jeffrey Ngu are Gastroenterologists with specific training in the interpretation of Diagnostic Breath Test results and work closely with the specialist Dietitians at Dietary Specialists to ensure the best results for patients.

After you have completed diagnostic breath testing, we recommend that you make an appointment to see one of the experienced Gastrointestinal Specialist Dietitians at DIetary Specialists. You can make an appointment to see them directly through their website, and they can see you at their rooms also based on level 2, 40 Stewart Street. Dietary Specialists specialise in the assessment and dietary management of gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease, gastro-oesophageal disease and food intolerances. In addition to their extensive experience, they have been specifically trained in delivering the low FODMAP diet, revolutionising the treatment of people with irritable bowel syndrome and functional diarrhoea. Dietary Specialists provide practical advice, including information on what you can eat, menu ideas, eating away from home, shopping information and a diet plan tailored to your lifestyle.

Diagnostic Breath Testing and dietary consultation are the perfect combinations to assess and manage your gastrointestinal symptoms, combining state-of-the-art testing with professional, highly trained and friendly Dietitians. We are New Zealand’s original low FODMAP centre. Contact us to find out more.

IBS
Frequently Asked Questions

What is IBS?

IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or constipation and bloating. People with IBS have a bowel that looks normal when examined with a colonoscope. Biopsies of the bowel are also normal under a microscope. While the bowel looks normal, it does not function normally and is sensitive to the fluid and gas within it. Bowel sensitivity may lead to abdominal symptoms.

How common is IBS?

IBS is common, affecting 1/6 women and 1/9 men. The symptoms can vary in intensity and may come and go.

What causes IBS?

The cause of IBS is unknown. Occasionally it may be triggered by an episode of gastroenteritis. Because the cause is not known, there is no cure for IBS, and treatment involves identifying and managing triggers.

How is IBS diagnosed?

IBS is diagnosed by your doctor. It is important that your doctor rules out serious conditions that may mimic IBS. In some cases, this may require referral to a Specialist Gastroenterologist or Surgeon for further tests.

What are triggers for IBS?

Not everyone is the same when it comes to triggers for gut symptoms but stress may make symptoms worse in addition to specific foods in the diet.

The low FODMAP diet approach has been shown in scientific studies to successfully reduce symptoms in 3/4 of patients with IBS.

Digestive Health Services and Dietary Specialists offer diagnostic testing and specialist dietary advice to provide the best management plan to control your symptoms.

Why see us for Diagnostic Breath Testing?

​We are the first group in New Zealand and the only group in Christchurch to offer a comprehensive service of hydrogen and methane testing to diagnose dietary causes for abdominal symptoms. Our experienced and friendly staff perform diagnostic breath testing three days per week and can answer any questions that you might have. Our Gastroenterologists have many years experience of interpreting and reporting diagnostic breath tests and work closely with the Dietitians at Dietary Specialists

What our clients say about us

★★★★★
Friendly and helpful

Amanda Stewart

Why Us

3 good reasons to choose us

N

Professional & Friendly Staff

N

Experienced Doctors

N

Integrated health care. We cover all aspects of the gut.

Contact us today

Appointments are available

(03) 662 9458

40 Stewart St. Christchurch 8011, NZ

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Diagnostic breath testing