Frequently Asked Questions

My breath tests for fructose and lactose malabsorption were negative. Is there anything that can be offered from a dietary point of view?

Absolutely! Breath tests are useful to assess your ability to absorb fructose and lactose, but there are several other types of dietary components that are often triggers. The dietitians can help you determine the dietary changes you need to make in order to minimise your gastrointestinal symptoms.

Is a dietitian consultation claimable on health insurance or through Medicare?

Yes. Most private health insurance companies reimburse a proportion of the consultation fee under Extras cover, however you will need to check your level of cover to confirm this. The only rebates available through Medicare are via the Enhanced Primary Care scheme. This requires a referral from your GP and you therefore must contact your GP to see if you are eligible.

How many appointments with the dietitian do I need in order to manage my gastrointestinal condition?

Most people require an initial consultation followed by a review approximately 6-8 weeks later. In some cases subsequent appointments may be required if other dietary modifications need to be made to further alleviate symptoms or to manage a separate condition.

I have been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and the advice on the internet is so confusing. What can I eat?

The diet for fructose malabsorption is still being researched and for that reason the food lists have changed over the years. Some of our dietitians are involved directly in that research. We do not provide the food lists without a consultation as fructose is often only a small part of the problem and we need to assess your tolerance to other potential triggers. You will be provided with a Monash University resource at your consultation, created by the researchers.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Remembering this is not important. Quite simply, FODMAP stands for a new class of carbohydrates noted to trigger gastrointestinal symptoms in a variety of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Coeliac disease. FODMAPs are poorly absorbed and rapidly fermented in the gut, increasing water and gas delivery through the bowel.

Do I need to have breath tests in order to determine whether fructose is a trigger for my symptoms?

Hydrogen/methane breath testing is an accurate diagnostic tool to either confirm or eliminate the possibility that malabsorption of fructose (or other sugars) is the cause of, or contributing to your symptoms. If you have had breath tests prior to your appointment, then they will be of benefit for the consultation, but dietary assessment can be completed as an alternative means to undertaking breath testing. if you are unable to attend a breath testing centre. 

Where do I get breath tests done?

We encourage people to undertake breath testing through Gastrolab (