IBS Network

How do I have a breath test?

Hi there, very new to this site and very interested in all the info I've read about the Fodmap diet.

Can anyone tell me how to go about getting a breath test? Do I need to be referred to a gastroenterologist by my GP, or can a dietician provide this test, especially if I see someone privately, or is the NHS the best way to go?

I'm struggling with what to eliminate from my diet, it's all rather hit and miss without some sort of conclusive results.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

7 Replies

Hi Counsellor,

I recently read somewhere hat a private breath test is about £166. Not sure what other charges it would involve.

On the NHS side, I asked my GP to refer me to a gastro a year ago, last Ocptober I had a colonoscopy to rule out celiac (this seems to be the first thing a gastro will check). And then I was left to my own device to research. Came across FODMAP diet which helped drastically and then pushed for fructose breath test which I had only a few days ago. It showed positive and now I am waiting for the full report and suggestions on what I can do. But no idea how long that will take so I have been researching probiotics etc etc.

Hope this helps. There is alot of info on here re FODMAPS, also look at the Monash UNIVERSITY website.


Thank you so much for your prompt reply, how good to read that you have got a result through your own research and persistence! Many thanks for the info, I think I need to go back to my GP and ask for a referral.


Hi Counsellor62,

I had my breath tests done by the NHS and was referred by my gastroenterologist. I only had to wait a couple of weeks to get them done, so it's not really worth paying for them privately.

I think you should definitely give FODMAPs a go, it's been a revelation to me and keeps me 90% symptom-free.

You can either ask your GP for a referral to a dietitian (most in England have now been trained in it), but if you want to start it straightaway under your own steam, you can find the best information on the Monash University website where the diet was created – just put FODMAP into the search box on its homepage. If you have an iPhone there’s an app you can download from there plus a handbook you can order by post.

An American dietitian called Patsy Catsos has also written a very good book about FODMAPs called 'IBS - Free At Last' which contains all the info you need to get going and gives the science behind it.

Results can be quite rapid - less than a week for me, but can take a month or so for some people.



Hi Paganmoon,

Thank you for your prompt reply, I've downloaded the FODMAP App, and have just come across Patsy Catsos's book in Kindle format, so will download that too.

As I have just said to lbsr, I think I need to go back to my GP and ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist for breath tests, again so that I know what I need to avoid or not.

It is very reassuring to hear from more than one person that the FODMAP diet really seems to work and is not some sort of new fad.

I'll keep plodding on and many thanks again for your help and advice.


If I were you start the FODMAP diet now so by the time you see the gastro you will have evidence to give them. Before I came across FODMAPS and after the celiac tests I advised the gastro that I was "not digesting something and could it be lack of enzymes or something"....he laughed at me!! hence my persistent research!


Ps not saying all gastros are like that...but you never know!


Thank you lbsr, I'm going to have a bash at both the FODMAP diet and talking to my GP about a referral. I need a bit of hand holding to help me with excluding and reintroducing suspect foodstuffs.

Thank you again for your support.


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