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! A positive or negative breath test for fructose does not provide all the answers. Your lactose breath test outcome will be considered and is helpful in refining your dietary approach, but unfortunately, recent research shows that fructose breath tests are not useful in determining required dietary change. Fructose can be a trigger even if your breath test is negative, and there are also other FODMAP carbohydrates that need to be considered. Our dietitians can help to explain all of this, interpret your breath test results and guide you on an individualised low FODMAP diet.

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

Firstly, fructose malabsorption is one component of the FODMAP diet. Those that require fructose restriction, almost always require restriction of other FODMAP carbohydrates. In the end most patients require an individualised form of the low FODMAP diet. The fructose malabsorption and low FODMAP diet information available online is unreliable. The diet is still evolving, with new foods tested daily. Monash University undertake FODMAP food testing and share the results through their Monash FODMAP app, but again, this information is not to be used without dietitian guidance. During your consultation, the dietitian will examine your usual diet, symptom type and frequency, suspected food triggers to determine the level of FODMAP restriction required. They will then educate you on a low FODMAP diet, with rechallenges to be undertaken after 2-4 weeks to learn how to relax the diet long term whilst still controlling your symptoms. It is important not to stay on a low FODMAP diet long term as there are implications for gut health, so reintroductions will be encouraged.

Do I need to have breath tests in order to determine if I should follow a low FODMAP diet?

No – please don’t. Hydrogen/methane breath testing has been used for some time to confirm or deny the possibility that malabsorption of fructose (or other sugars) is contributing to gut symptoms. Since they became commercially available, research now demonstrates that fructose and other FODMAP carbohydrates can be symptom triggers regardless of breath test outcomes and as such we no longer recommend breath testing. There is a role for lactose breath testing to determine if lactose is a trigger, but our dietitians can also help you conduct dietary elimination and challenges to answer this question. Breath tests are expensive and there are many practitioners still referring their patients for up to 6 breath tests which can cost in excess of $600. So please, save your money. We can help you work out your FODMAP triggers in a much more pleasant way!

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 irritable bowel syndrome. They can also trigger symptoms in some patients with 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.

How do I make an appointment?

Booking requests can be made via our website (insert link) or by calling our friendly support team on 1300 422 498.

What information will you send me?

After booking your Initial consultation, you will receive an Appointment Confirmation email. This will include all that you need to know about your upcoming appointment, a link to a pre-assessment survey as well as a link to a downloadable food diary.

What if I don't receive the booking confirmation email?

Sometimes our emails end up in ‘junk’, so have a quick look there. If you still can’t find it, please contact us via 1300 422 498 or and we will ensure to get the information to you.

Do I need to complete the pre-assessment survey before my appointment?

Whilst not essential, completion of the pre assessment survey 1-2 days prior to your consultation greatly assists the dietitian in preparation for your appointment. The survey includes important information about why you are seeing the dietitian and any background information that is relevant to them (eg, relevant medical history, current medications, any previous “dietary therapies” you have tried).

Do I need to complete the food diary before my appointment?

Whilst not essential, completion of the food diary at least 1-2 days prior to your consultation greatly assists the dietitian in preparation for your appointment. Completed food diaries can be emailed to and will then be added to your file.

Do you offer pension rates?

We offer pension rates to clients with a valid pension card. Please notify our administration team if you are on a pension and they can explain the rates to you. And please bring your card to your appointment for verification.

Do you offer online or telephone consultations?

In addition to face to face consultations, we also consult via Zoom, Skype or by telephone, if preferred. These are great options for those not living close-by to one of our consultation sites (or overseas / interstate) or for those who find online platforms just more convenient. A consultation with one of our dietitians can very easily be conducted online.

What is the process regarding payment for the consultation?

Payment is required on the day of your appointment. We have a range of options. Onsite at Glen Iris we have EFTPOS and receive cash. For online consultations, we are able to conduct an online transaction through NAB transact (with your credit card details?) or provide you details to make a direct deposit.

What is your cancellation policy?

If for any reason you are unable to make your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible on 1300 422 498 so that we are able to arrange another time for you and offer this time to someone else. Please note that a cancellation fee of 50% applies if you fail to give 48 hours notice. We often have a 3-4 week wait for appointments and love being able to offer something last minute to our clients with chronic health conditions who need an urgent appointment.

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. Please contact your health fund to confirm. Rebates through Medicare are available via the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) scheme, which entitles you to receive a proportion of the consultation cost back from Medicare when you present your receipt. This requires a referral from your GP and you therefore must contact your GP to see if you are eligible. Please be aware that retrospective EPC claims are not available.

What if I am running late for my appointment?

The dietitian’s day is carefully booked to allow sufficient time for each client. If you are running late for the start of your appointment, please expect for your consultation to conclude at the originally scheduled time.

Will I need to go on a special diet?

Your dietitian will assess what dietary intervention/s are required for your condition. For some, this may mean simple dietary modification, for others a specific diet may need to be followed. Either way, your dietitian will ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is required by providing you with thorough dietary education along with hard or e-copies of information and resources to assist you.

Will I get a meal plan?

Meal plans (i.e. the “7-day” over-prescriptive type) are not typically provided as part of the consultation (unless clinically indicated) *. What you will receive however, is individualised food and meal suggestions and guidance around dietary modifications that work for your condition and your lifestyle. *Please note that individual clinically-indicated meal plans require an additional fee in addition to the initial consultation.

Do I need a referral to see the dietitian?

No, a referral is not required, however any relevant test results or information that your doctor or specialist provides may be useful for the dietitian’s assessment.

How many appointments will I need with the dietitians to manage my condition?

Most people require an initial consultation followed by a review appointment anywhere from 1-4 weeks later. Further review appointments are required for patients undertaking food chemical or FODMAP food challenges, to accurately assess the outcome of challenges and determine future dietary requirements. Additional review appointments are also often required when monitoring patients for weight concerns and diabetes to ensure benefits continue and a change to dietary management can be conducted depending on progress. Some conditions, such as Coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease may require bi-annual reviews to keep on top of nutritional intake, symptom changes and adaptation to a new diet.

What is involved in a review consultation?

Follow up appointments are generally conducted within 1-4 weeks of the initial appointment. These are usually 20-30 minutes in duration and involve the dietitian checking on your progress, ability to follow the diet, challenges and benefits from the approach. The advice is then modified depending on the outcome to achieve optimal results.

What can I expect in an initial consultation?

Our initial consultations involve an hour with one of our dietitians, examining diet and medical history, test results, medications and supplements, previous diet changes, suspected food triggers or complaints and meal pattern. All of this is then considered against the latest research findings to determine which dietary approach is likely to result in the best outcome for the patient. A formal education session will then take place to educate the patient on the dietary approach, explain the theory behind it, and give detailed information on how to implement the strategies.