Fructose Malabsorption

Posted by CL @lelia, Dec 5, 2018

I'd like to start a discussion on fructose malabsorption, how to control it, what to eat and not eat, etc. . Is anybody interested?

@grachelg

I have been having acid reflux for over a year and have recently been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption. Trying to stick to a food plan. Always feeling the reflux and heartburn. On omeprazole 20 mg. There are no fruits I can eat between the 2 conditions and this is upsetting. I do not eat or drink wine, coffee, carbonated drinks, garlic, onions, pepper, chocolate , vinegar, all citrus, all fruits, mint, tea, tomatoes… and yet I still feel sick almost after every meal. I also get migraines on occasion. Any advice on what I can still do to feel good!

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check out a list of foods containing "fructans", which are chains of fructose. My son did not become pain free until he eliminated all fructans. Also, check out websites for yoga poses to aid digestion. My son does these daily and they help. (He is 13!)

Liked by harmonyln

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@fmmom

Hello, I am the mom of a 13 yr old boy with fructose malabsorption. He was finally diagnosed at Mayo 1st week of June 2018. He finally became pain free once we eliminated fructans, although I did not realize there are fructans in potato skins! Regarding L-alanine, how much do you take per body weight? do you need to take it on an empty stomach before you eat food? We have had no help in re-introducing foods. Dieticians repeatedy tell us "everyone is different, you just have to try." When my son has even 3 bites of a food, he reacts 6 hrs later and is laid up with abdominal pain, weakness and severe constipation for 5-6 days. As a mom, it is very sad to see my son curled up for so long and he is missing school. Do you have any suggestions on how to choose foods to re-introduce and how to decrease the likelihood of a reaction? Thank you!!

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I am so sorry to hear about your son's problem. Regarding fructans, they are in lots of "skins", I think, whether potato skins, grain hulls (e.g. brown rice), nut "skins" (like almonds with the brown coating still on them). I have not found the L-alanine to be that helpful for fructans, but it is with fructose (but not a cure-all by any means). I still can't eat any sugar to speak of, but it helps with potato chips (which I eat a lot of for energy), an occasional baby carrot, etc. I take probably 6 – 8 tsp per day, after I eat the food or drug. I weigh 108 pounds, if that helps. Don't know if you can get too much of it; it is naturally used in the body. I dissolve it in hot water first; otherwise it is gritty and can feel irritating to the stomach. I put the 8 tsp in a canning jar with about 1" of water and microwave it as long as a hot beverage. When done, I take it out, stir it well, and then add the rest of the water, basically 2 c. I drink 2-3 swallows after eating the possibly problematic thing, more if I think necessary. Regarding dietitians, I haven't had much luck. Forget the FODMAP stuff; too much sugar. Plain food should be ok. Watch the spices. I posted a lot on these FM discussion pages about what to eat and not eat, sugars in drugs, etc. If you take a look at that you'd have a good place to start. If you want to try something questionable, just do one thing at a time. Good luck, and if you have any more questions, just ask.

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@redhead63

Hi:
Fructose diet is very difficult but you can manage the diet. No sugar at all including no gum, no honey no soda etc. Just look at the labels for any form of sugars if you cannot pronounce the ingredients on the package then don’t buy it because it most likely have some hidden sugars.
Also no fruits and fruit juices.
You can also goggle and y-tube for more information or you can go to a nutritionist and hopefully your insurance will pay for the Nutritionist. I have fructose so bad that I cannot eat onions, garlic, peas and carrots. I had to experiment with different foods. My tip off with Foods was to keep a daily log of everything you eat and see how you react. I would get the diarrhea the next day that was how I was able to tell what I can and cannot eat.

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Hi,

I just joined the group and am reading through the post. My kid had the same problem and we were able to take care of that problem by giving xylose isomerase enzyme. This converts the excess fructose into glucose and aids in absorption. Usually each pill of the enzyme can convert 6 grams of fructose. You might want to try that for yourself. I was able to buy the pills from Austria. I used to get 60 bottles at a time and each bottle contains 60 pills. Good luck.

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@lelia

VERY LOW FRUCTOSE, LOW FODMAPS, AND GLUTEN FREE RECIPES AND DIET.
The recipes are very simple and delicious without any sugars to make it easier to stick to a restricted diet. We've developed them as we went along, and I want to share them to make it easier for others. No point in having to reinvent the wheel! Often we don't add seasonings until at the table, and then they are mostly salt and/or pepper. Note that browning food adds a lot of flavor!

I have fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, visceral hypersensitivity and sometimes small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I am putting the recipes in the Fructose Malabsorption discussion section because I have found them to work for that condition, and it wasn't easy. There is so much that doesn't work, and it has been quite the journey since the viral food poisoning in 2002 I have yet to find a sugar or artificial sugar I can digest. I realize everybody is different, but we have to start somewhere. I welcome any tips anybody has; am still in the trial process and sometimes just don't feel like rocking the boat. Feel free to ask me any questions as well.

PART 1. CHICKEN BROTH. Just when you feel your worst you can only have chicken broth to eat. I have to make my own because all of the packaged versions I've seen have sugar(s) in them or seasoning I can't eat. Here's the easiest way I've found. Bring chicken thighs to a boil and simmer one hour or until done. Remove thighs. Using a measuring cup, pour the broth into wide mouthed canning jars. Place jars in refrigerator and hold until fat has solidified. Take the fat off, put the lids on (plastic are the best) and freeze. Alternately, take the fat off as you use the broth over a day or two. After thighs have cooled a bit, remove meat, divide into serving size portions, and freeze. Originally I used Cambell's no sodium chicken broth (no longer made) and was always very weak. The homemade version has much more nutrition and I never feel weak until the end of the second day or so.

PART 2. POULTRY. Bake the chicken, cornish hens or turkey. Boil white basmati rice. When the meat is done, remove from pan and set aside. Pour the drippings into a clear container such as a glass measuring cup, and let the fat rise to the top. After it has, skim it off with a gravy ladle or spoon. Then pour the drippings into the rice still in the rice pan. Serve with the meat. No seasonings are necessary while cooking; still delicious without them.

We also occasionally eat bacon-wrapped turkey tenders done on the George Foreman grill. I remove the bacon on a separate plate before eating the turkey; there is still a little sugar.

We also make canned chicken hash. We get the chicken at Trader Joe's because it has no additives (Trader Joe's Chunk White Chicken in Water). Microwave potatoes, peel, chop up and add to canned chicken. Mix in sage and/or thyme and a little extra virgin olive oil. Stir well. I sometime add a little bit of stir fried mushrooms.

PART 3. FISH. Salmon. Fry the salmon until well browned. At the same time, cook white basmati rice. When the salmon is done, remove from pan and set aside. Dump the cooked rice into the salmon pan and stir well, using the spatula to get up all the brown stuff in the pan. Serve the rice with the salmon. Again, no seasonings necessary.

Cod. Put in microwave dish. Drizzle with oil and add a little water. Cover and cook on high for about 6 minutes. As microwaves vary, check your unit's manual for cooking fish.

Orange roughy, tilapia, mahi mahi. Put in microwave dish. Drizzle with oil and add a little water. Sprinkle fish with thyme. Cover and cook on high for about 6 minutes. Again, check you microwave's directions.

Scallops. Boil basmati rice until done. Fry scallops until browned. Add rice to the scallops still in the scallops pan and stir, making sure you get up all the brown stuff. Serve.

PART 4. PORK. Fry pork chops until well browned.

PART 5. BEEF. Fry or grill hamburgers and steaks.
Meat loaf. 20 ounces ground beef, 1 c. quick oats, 2 eggs, 1/2 t pepper, 1/3 t ground sage, 2 T water. Mix all ingredients except meat and oats. Combine with meat and oats and stir well. Press lightly and evenly into greased loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees about 50 minutes.

Bacon wrapped fillets. We occasionally have these; I remove the bacon on a separate plate before eating the fillet. There is some sugar left on the fillet.

Arby's classic roast beef, plain, without the bun.

PART 6. EGGS. Fry, scramble, boil. I use canola oil. I eat eggs with fried potatoes and sometimes a piece of leftover pork chop from dinner. Occasionally I make an omelet with spinach (Trader Joe's frozen chopped spinach is great) and leftover cooked meat or fish from dinner.

PART 7. VEGETABLES. Cook all vegetables.
Spinach microwaves well. We steam the broccoli, broccolini and carrots. Broccolini or "baby broccoli" is actually a cross between broccoli and kale. Kale has fructans in it, so broccolini probably has some. However, it is so delicious and if eaten in moderation is tolerable. Incidentally, broccoli has lactose in it (and so probably broccolini) so I take a couple lactase tablets when eating it. Carrots have sugar in them, so I only eat one baby carrot every other day.

Green Swiss chard, celery in small amounts, and occasional mushrooms are also ok. Just learned mushrooms have polyols in them, but my reaction isn't that strong.

Potatoes. Boil, microwave or fry. Don't eat the skins because they have fructans in them.
Baked. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven at 375 degrees so they are browned, giving them added flavor.
Fried. Microwave potatoes until done. Peel, chop up and brown on top of the stove. These are great with eggs, and especially good under fried eggs. I make enough for several meals and freeze in individual containers.
Mashed. Boil russets. When done, peel and mash, adding a little of the potato water (and broth if you have it). Add seasonings like sage or thyme if desired.
Arby's potato cakes.
Kettle brand potato chips, unsalted or salted. No crinkle chips – all I've seen have additives including sugars regardless of brand.
Onions. Rarely eat, and then only the clear liquid that comes out while quickly sautéing them. Remove the solids after sautéing. The solids, or the juice that isn't clear, are a definite no-no.

PART 8. GRAINS.
Oatmeal. Use quick oats. For a quick breakfast, microwave in a 2 c. measuring cup. Fill half full of oats and the remainder with water. Microwave on high about 1 1/2 minutes (or what your microwave specifies). It is good with Pompeian Extra Light Olive Oil sprinkled on top along with cinnamon.

Rice. White basmati rice works well. I believe brown rice has fructans in the husks. Tried jasmine rice but it tasted rather sweet compared to the basmati.
White rice noodles. Bought some but have yet to try them. Should be ok.

PART 9. GRILLING WITH A CHARCOAL GRILL.
This is the grill we have, and the starter fluid would get on the food and bother my stomach so we had to quit. Then discovered the "charcoal grill chimney starter," which is metal tube you fill with charcoal and then light newspapers underneath to start the charcoal. Now we can eat grilled food again!

PART 10. POT PIE TOPPER.
Bake russets at 375 degrees on the bottom shelf of the oven. When done, mash, adding egg and seasonings. Mold into desired shape

PART 11. OILS.
Canola oil
Olive oil – Pompeian Extra Light Tasting and Pompeian Extra Virgin olive oils are no sugar and very good tasting. Be careful and don't use just any olive oil, since olives are a fruit and olive oil often contains olive juice.

PART 12. SPICES AND HERBS. This is a tricky area.
Cinnamon, sage, thyme, salt and pepper are fine.
Tried rosemary, oregano, and fresh cilantro and these were not ok.
Basil and bay leaf are supposed to have no sugars, but have yet to try them.
Perhaps some no- sugar spices/herbs contain fructans?

PART 13. DESSERT.
Potato chips with cinnamon on them. My only dessert for years.

Nuts with cinnamon. Fry Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts (remove the pistachios first) in Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil until browned. Add cinnamon after removing from pan. Let cool, and then store in refrigerator or freezer about 1 week to give the nuts a chance to absorb the cinnamon flavor. Nuts have sugars in them so eat in moderation.

Shortbread cookies. 1 c. almond flour (not meal), 1/4 t. salt, 1/4 c. Pompeian Extra Light Tasting olive oil, and 1 t. Frontier Coop Organic NonGMO vanilla extract. Eat in moderation. Almonds have fructans and perhaps fructose in them; vanilla extract has sugar in it

PART 14. BEVERAGES
I am still drinking mainly distilled water, since out city puts chloramines in the water and they bother my stomach. Can get by with a glass or 2 of city water daily but that's it. Plain black and plain green tea are supposed to be sugar free but have yet to try them.

Eating out, I ask for water from the faucet, no ice or lemon, since water through the pop machine has sugar in it.

PART 15. L-ALANINE AMINO ACID. This supplement has been shown by researchers at a university in Iowa to help the intestinal wall absorb fructose. It helps a lot. I use probably 8 t. a day when I eat potato chips, baby carrots, drugs/supplements that have sugar in them (more on this topic later), etc. If you get it at BulkSupplements.com it is very affordable. I get it as a powder and mix it in water before using. Put 2 heaping T in a 2 c. glass measuring cup, add 1/4 c. water, and microwave on high for about 1 1/2 minutes. After removing it from the microwave, stir well and then add water to the top of the measuring cup to make 2 cups.

PART 16. SUGAR CONTENT IN FOODS. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a priceless site called USDA Food Composition Database, at
ndb.nal.usda.gov. Not only does the site give sugars in foods (fructose, sucrose, lactose, etc.), it RANKS the foods by sugar content. To look up basic foods or drinks, click on Nutrient Search, select up to 3 nutrients such as total sugars, fructose, etc., and then selected to food group you want to learn about, such as spices and herbs, cereal grans and pastas, etc. There are many other nutrients besides sugars, so the database would be useful for a lot of people. This database is the perfect example of your tax dollars at work!

This entry wouldn't be complete without thanking the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic and our local university medical center, including a medical librarian (also an MD) who did a lot of online searching for me. My husband has also been a wonderful help, offering moral support, cooking, etc. I could not have gotten to this point without them. Also, thanks to Mayo for Mayo Clinic Connect so we can have a chance to help each other. 1/2/2019

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Just made a new discovery. I made beef pot roast and it bothered my stomach when it shouldn't have. I had cooked it in the oven 3 hours but it was still on the tough side so I thought that might be the problem. So, I made another roast a couple weeks later and cooked it 5 hours in the oven. It was very tender but bothered my stomach even more. Plus, it had a slightly strange taste. I remember seeing somewhere on the internet that people with fm have trouble digesting iron. Voila! I had made both roasts in a cast iron dutch oven. While frying potatoes or doing something else quickly in cast iron doesn't introduce much iron, cooking a pot roast in liquid for a long period of time introduces a lot!

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@fmmom

Hello, I am the mom of a 13 yr old boy with fructose malabsorption. He was finally diagnosed at Mayo 1st week of June 2018. He finally became pain free once we eliminated fructans, although I did not realize there are fructans in potato skins! Regarding L-alanine, how much do you take per body weight? do you need to take it on an empty stomach before you eat food? We have had no help in re-introducing foods. Dieticians repeatedy tell us "everyone is different, you just have to try." When my son has even 3 bites of a food, he reacts 6 hrs later and is laid up with abdominal pain, weakness and severe constipation for 5-6 days. As a mom, it is very sad to see my son curled up for so long and he is missing school. Do you have any suggestions on how to choose foods to re-introduce and how to decrease the likelihood of a reaction? Thank you!!

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Hello. I know how difficult it is to solve these issues on your own. We went through a similar thing when our child was diagnosed at age 8. We did an incredible amount of research and found some companies in Europe that distribute xylose isomerase. We first taught her to swallow these large capsules. After reading the information, we found that most capsules help with approximately 6 grams of fructose. We started with 6 per meal and now we are down to 2 capsules per meal. It helps beyond belief.

To further assist with this, you should also consider giving him probiotics to build up the good bacteria in the gut and when giving fats in diet make sure to give ginger infused water to keep everything moving in the gut.

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@nsheth

Hello. I know how difficult it is to solve these issues on your own. We went through a similar thing when our child was diagnosed at age 8. We did an incredible amount of research and found some companies in Europe that distribute xylose isomerase. We first taught her to swallow these large capsules. After reading the information, we found that most capsules help with approximately 6 grams of fructose. We started with 6 per meal and now we are down to 2 capsules per meal. It helps beyond belief.

To further assist with this, you should also consider giving him probiotics to build up the good bacteria in the gut and when giving fats in diet make sure to give ginger infused water to keep everything moving in the gut.

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Did you get any xylose isomerase from a company in the Netherlands called Disolut? If not, can you recommend some European companies? You wonder how pure some of the products are; maybe they don't have an FDA. I'm not sure the enzyme will help me because if I eat any sugar, including fructose and glucose, I get immediate stomach upset, and the enzyme apparently doesn't start working until further down. What was your daughter's immediate response? Thanks so much!

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@lelia

Did you get any xylose isomerase from a company in the Netherlands called Disolut? If not, can you recommend some European companies? You wonder how pure some of the products are; maybe they don't have an FDA. I'm not sure the enzyme will help me because if I eat any sugar, including fructose and glucose, I get immediate stomach upset, and the enzyme apparently doesn't start working until further down. What was your daughter's immediate response? Thanks so much!

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Initially we use to order FructoZym which contained Xylose Isomerase. Just recently they discontinued making it. We bought from them for 4 years. We just recently switched to Dissolut from Netherlands. It also contains Xylose Isomerase as the Active sold by the name Lutomerase.

We ordered 1 box and it seems to work and we went forward and ordered 5 more boxes. It's very easy to order. I ordered through Ebay. The shipping is free and it showed by in my mail box. It is much more convenient than going to the bank and wire transferring the money to order.

Initially you will have pain, but continue using it as it will help you. Have you tried just taking glucose? I would like to know your reaction to just glucose. Take the enzyme 10 minutes ahead of time. It gradually will get better. Take the probiotics to built up the good bacteria to prevent the bad bacteria from fermenting.

If you take oil in the diet remember to take ginger pills or liquid infused with ginger to keep everything moving since oil slows down the movements of the gut. All the best.

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@nsheth

Initially we use to order FructoZym which contained Xylose Isomerase. Just recently they discontinued making it. We bought from them for 4 years. We just recently switched to Dissolut from Netherlands. It also contains Xylose Isomerase as the Active sold by the name Lutomerase.

We ordered 1 box and it seems to work and we went forward and ordered 5 more boxes. It's very easy to order. I ordered through Ebay. The shipping is free and it showed by in my mail box. It is much more convenient than going to the bank and wire transferring the money to order.

Initially you will have pain, but continue using it as it will help you. Have you tried just taking glucose? I would like to know your reaction to just glucose. Take the enzyme 10 minutes ahead of time. It gradually will get better. Take the probiotics to built up the good bacteria to prevent the bad bacteria from fermenting.

If you take oil in the diet remember to take ginger pills or liquid infused with ginger to keep everything moving since oil slows down the movements of the gut. All the best.

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Thanks for responding. Yes, I have tried glucose in a tablet form a friend told me about. It did not agree. I should double check the product and any "inactive" ingredients. I also take probiotics, usually 2 per day. Regarding ginger, haven't tried that yet. It's on the list. How many of the Dissolut capsules do you use per meal, and what is their strength? Thanks so much again!

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Yes, I also have Fructose Intolerances. I can’t get any sugars at all. peas, carrots, onions, garlic, fruits, table sugars
honey, diet pop, gum etc. It a horrible diet.

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@lelia

Thanks for responding. Yes, I have tried glucose in a tablet form a friend told me about. It did not agree. I should double check the product and any "inactive" ingredients. I also take probiotics, usually 2 per day. Regarding ginger, haven't tried that yet. It's on the list. How many of the Dissolut capsules do you use per meal, and what is their strength? Thanks so much again!

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Hi – You need to calculate the amount of sugar you are getting in the diet. Each pill of Lutomerase (Xylose Isomerase) can handle about 8 g of sugar. The strength is 75 mg/pill. This will help you figure out how many pills you need. Make sure you are regular in taking the pills when you eat. Do keep an interval of 4 hours between meals. Keep me posted.

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@redhead63

Yes, I also have Fructose Intolerances. I can’t get any sugars at all. peas, carrots, onions, garlic, fruits, table sugars
honey, diet pop, gum etc. It a horrible diet.

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Hi – My kid had the same problem and we were able to turn it around. You should be able to do it too by taking Lutomerase. Do not take honey since it has a very content of fructose. Make sure anything you take in the diet has a high amount of glucose compared to fructose. Apples and honey are the worse in fructose content. All the best. Let me know if things change for you after taking Lutomerase.

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@nsheth

Hi – You need to calculate the amount of sugar you are getting in the diet. Each pill of Lutomerase (Xylose Isomerase) can handle about 8 g of sugar. The strength is 75 mg/pill. This will help you figure out how many pills you need. Make sure you are regular in taking the pills when you eat. Do keep an interval of 4 hours between meals. Keep me posted.

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Thanks! Don't know if glucose is a problem or not because neither I or my friend can remember which brand I tried. I got some samples of Lutomerase from Disolut and will try them. I sent Disolut a message, and Lutomerase doesn't work on fructans, but they make two other products as well that do. One is called Fibractase for fructans, and the other is called Quatrase, for fructose, fructans, lactose, and galactans. Depending on how well the Lutomerase works, I'll probably get some of the Quatrase as well since I can't digest fructans, lactose, and lots of other sugars as well. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.

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@lelia

Thanks! Don't know if glucose is a problem or not because neither I or my friend can remember which brand I tried. I got some samples of Lutomerase from Disolut and will try them. I sent Disolut a message, and Lutomerase doesn't work on fructans, but they make two other products as well that do. One is called Fibractase for fructans, and the other is called Quatrase, for fructose, fructans, lactose, and galactans. Depending on how well the Lutomerase works, I'll probably get some of the Quatrase as well since I can't digest fructans, lactose, and lots of other sugars as well. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.

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All the best. Hope all of this works.

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@redhead63

Yes, I also have Fructose Intolerances. I can’t get any sugars at all. peas, carrots, onions, garlic, fruits, table sugars
honey, diet pop, gum etc. It a horrible diet.

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Did you check out the recipes/diet on page 5 of this fructose malabsorption discussion? There are some good things you can eat. Good luck.

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I am very interested. I am 60 never had a stomach issue my entire life. Cast iron stomach. Year ago my stomach started feeling weird like nauseous all the time had migraines too. Checked the migraines but was thankfully nothing. Told me I had high blood pressure, which was new to me too. Took meds to control the blood pressure. Decided to check out my stomach issues. Endoscopy showed reflux. Started reflux diet. Still felt nauseous. Took ultra sound all ok. Then took breathing tests. Shower bacterial overgrowth, fructose malabsorption and lactaid intolerance. Never had an issue with anything stomach my entire life. Now everything! Seeing a nutritionist. Feel best when I don’t eat!!!!! Have eliminated everything. Would love to hear what works for you and others. Are there glucose pills we can take? Any advice would be appreciated.

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