Everyone's digestive system is unique, and many people have issues with certain foods. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out which foods you can eat without experiencing symptoms. That's why we created AIRE, a digestive tracker that measures fermentation in your gut to help you figure out which foods work best for you.
Fermentation itself is a natural, healthy part of digestion. The bacteria in your gut help you break down foods through fermentation. Fermentation creates gases such as hydrogen. These gases are then excreted naturally from the body.
However, for some people fermentation can lead to uncomfortable and painful symptoms, such as stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.
We’ve all felt discomfort after eating something that didn’t agree with us. Many of us have woken up with an upset stomach from a meal we ate hours before. We all know there are some foods that make us feel more “gassy” than others!
The level of discomfort varies from person to person. For some people it can become intolerable and can affect their everyday lives. This is why it’s sometimes better to limit or avoid the foods that are bothering you, rather than deal with the daily symptoms.
The problem is, it can be difficult to identify the foods that are actually bothering you, because your symptoms can occur hours later, sometimes not affecting you until the next day or even a couple of days later.
So how do you figure out the foods that bother you and those you can tolerate well? The answer is: tracking your fermentation!
Breath analysis devices that track fermentation have been used by doctors for years.
AIRE is the first personal, portable device that allows you to track fermentation levels in your gut by analysing your breath. AIRE measures the amount of hydrogen on your breath, which corresponds to the level of fermentation occurring. A high level of fermentation indicates that you may not be absorbing a particular food very well.
With AIRE, you log your fermentation levels, the foods you eat, the symptoms you experience, and your sleep and stress levels.
Looking at the combination of all these markers allows you to identify which foods you digest well and can enjoy without discomfort.
After you eat, you breathe into your AIRE. The AIRE app gives you a 0-10 Fermentation Score.
A high Fermentation Score suggests that something you ate or drank has led to high fermentation in the gut. This means you may not have digested that food fully.
The app also allows you to record any symptoms you experience throughout the day.
Let’s look at a hypothetical AIRE user, Anne.
Anne often experiences uncomfortable digestive symptoms after she eats, but she isn’t sure which foods may be causing the symptoms. Let’s look at how AIRE can help her figure that out.
Here, Anne logged that she ate broccoli. Shortly after eating broccoli, she logged a high Fermentation Score. After testing a few times Anne may notice a pattern of high fermentation.
Anne can use the AIRE Food Database to see the FODMAP content of broccoli. She may now decide to test herself eating other vegetables, and see if her Fermentation Scores are different than her score with broccoli.
Another day, Anne eats some ice cream and logs it in her food log. Later on, she enjoys some chicken wings.
A few hours later, she begins to feel uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
Anne notes that she had a spike of fermentation about an hour after eating the ice cream, and before eating the chicken wings.
Seeing that she has a spike after her ice cream, Anne may decide to test other dairy foods. She may notice a pattern of fermentation spikes after eating foods high in lactose. She can use the Food Database to see the FODMAP content of different dairy foods, and may choose to eat lower FODMAP dairy foods in the future. Anne can test this idea by tracking her Fermentation Scores after eating lower lactose dairy foods, and seeing if there are differences in the scores.
AIRE works best if you take a breath test before eating as well as at intervals after eating. This way, you can track your fermentation levels before and after eating different foods.
The app reminds you to take a Breath Test one hour after logging food, but the more you use it, the more data you collect. The more data you collect, the more you learn about the foods that are causing your symptoms.
Fermentation Scores can be affected by a lot of things.
Generally, your Fermentation Scores are affected by the foods you recently ate. However, any of the foods you’ve eaten or liquids you’ve drank over the previous 24 hours can affect your Fermentation Scores as well. Even small things like sugarless gum may have had an effect – so remember to log everything that you eat and all the symptoms you experience.
This is why the more you use AIRE, the more accurate your results will become.
Recent antibiotic, probiotic or laxative use can affect your Fermentation Scores. Never change your antibiotic, probiotic or medication regimen without consulting your doctor.
Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and application of products made from silicone-based materials, such as cosmetics, can also affect Fermentation Score accuracy.