So you’ve received your AIRE, and you want to do your first Food Challenge!

As you know, AIRE comes with four sachets of FODMAPs — lactose, sorbitol, fructose and inulin. This is a quick refresher on what FODMAPs are and how to prepare for a Food Challenge with one of these sachets.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are common sugars that can cause digestive symptoms in some people. The sugar sachets that come with AIRE are FODMAPs, but there are many more that fall into this category. Just because you’re sensitive to one FODMAP doesn’t mean you will have issues with all of them. It’s important to figure out which ones you tolerate well so you don’t limit your diet unnecessarily.

Step one: The night before

We recommend you do your Food Challenge in the morning on a day when you don’t have too much activity planned, as they can take a few hours. You should also wait a few days in between Food Challenges. There’s no need to test with a sachet if you already know you are intolerant to that FODMAP.

If you have been on antibiotics recently, you should wait two weeks before doing a Food Challenge. Always take your medication as directed by your medical professional.

The night before your Food Challenge, you should eat a low FODMAP dinner. This helps ensure that nothing you ate previously is interfering with your results.

Here are a few great low-FODMAP dinner recipes!

10-minute quesadillas

Spicy drumsticks

Summer beef salad

If those don’t appeal to you, or you have other dietary needs to consider, A Little Bit Yummy is a great resource for low-FODMAP recipe ideas!

Step 2: Fast overnight

After dinner and the next morning, don’t eat anything and drink only water. Ideally, you will fast for 12 hours before the test.

Step 3: Start the Food Challenge

Prep

If you had a low-FODMAP dinner and you’ve only had water since, then you’re ready for your Food Challenge, but don’t open your sachet yet!

When you wake up, it helps to brush your teeth, but don’t use any alcohol-based products, like mouthwash.

Open the AIRE app, and on Android select the menu at the top left of the screen, then tap “Food Challenges”. On iPhone, select the “Challenges” tab on the bottom of the screen. If you’re using one of the sachets that came with your device, tap “FODMAP mode”. We’ll show you how to use custom mode in another post!

Take a baseline test

Choose which FODMAP you are testing with. The names of each one are written on the sachet. Read through the instructions in the app, then select “do now” if you’re ready. The app will ask you to take a baseline breath test. When prompted, take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, than exhale into the device for five seconds, with your lips sealed around the mouthpiece.

Some people get high fermentation scores first thing in the morning. If this happens, wait 20 minutes and try again. You can return to a challenge in progress from the app home screen.

If your baseline score is close to zero, mix the sachet with a glass of water, then drink the mixture. Don’t worry — it tastes sweet!

Test every 15 minutes

After drinking the mixture, take breath tests every 15 minutes for the next three hours. The app will prompt you when it’s time for your next test. It also helps if you take note of how you feel throughout the test. Be sure not to eat or drink anything other than water during the test, so that you’re just measuring your response to the FODMAP sachet

Once you’ve completed your test, have a look at your results. If your fermentation score increased noticeably during the test, that means the sugar you drank wasn’t fully absorbed and fermented in your gut. If you also felt digestive discomfort during or after the test, it’s possible that you don’t tolerate that sugar well, and it may be triggering symptoms.

AIRE is a pocket-sized breath analysis device. It helps people with chronic digestive issues determine the foods that work best with their digestive system. To learn more about AIRE, visit www.foodmarble.com.