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?

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@saucy

Potatoes kill me!

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I too can't eat potatoes. I read on the "Smithsonian" magazine that they are members of the Deadly Nighshade family and that about 25% of the population cannot tolerate them. Plus they are starch which I cannot eat.

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@atxer

Hi Mayo Clinic Connect community,

About 2 years ago, I started having excessive gas and to a lesser extent increased belching. I have no other gastrointestinal issues – no bloating, diaheraa, or constipation – but the gas is really bad to the point that I’ve spent the last year restricting my diet and avoiding dating out of embarrassment.

Right now, I’ve found that the gas is reduced if I restrict my diet to plain Greek yogurt, avocados, lean meats, white rice, soy sauce, plain bagel, and cream cheese. That’s not a long list and not a sustainable diet, I know. I’ve noticed increased gas when I eat eggs, oatmeal, sugary muffins and cookies with high fructose corn syrup.

I was diagnosed with some type of sucrose intolerance when I was 10 years old. My symptoms then were vomiting and stomach pain. It was so long ago there may have been symptoms I don’t remember. Either way restricting/eliminating sucrose from my diet eased my symptoms. My doctor thought I would grow out of it and 2 years later I was able to eat sucrose without those nasty symptoms. But with this new digestive issue, I wonder if sugar malabsorption is an issue.

I’m seeing a GI doctor about this next week Has anyone else had excessive gas as your only symptom? Did you get a diagnosis?

Thanks!

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Are you still checking this? I would love to chat more about this.

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@lelia

The symptoms you can get from fructose malabsorption can be really horrible. I developed it after a case of viral food poisoning as severe as that caused by e coli, and it was almost fatal. You can't digest the fructose because the lining of the intestine is damaged. I had incredible gas and belching, bloating, and asthma from the gas, and didn't care whether I lived or died. What's to live for if you can't eat, breathe or sleep? I also got esophageal dysmotility and food caught in the esophagus (even scrambled eggs) and had GERD from it, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth from it. One time had to blend all my food for weeks. Also have visceral hypersensitivity. Anyway, it took about 10 years to get it diagnosed; be sure to go to a reputable gastroenterologist, at a university medical center if possible. Mayo diagnosed mine. I have a friend who has it and she can eat a lot more sugar than I can. She figures if I can eat it so can she. I've found I can hardly eat any, including artificial sugars. I want to share what I've learned. By the way, I've been to 4 dietitians and none of their recommendations worked for me because my system is so intolerant of sugar. This is a minimalist diet but it's a good start if you're still struggling to discovered what you can eat. Here's what I eat: Protein: eggs, meat, fish (all unprocessed- no ham, sausages, etc). Carbs: potatoes without the skin, white Basmati rice, Kettle Brand Kettle Chips (for energy). Vegetables: cooked spinach, cooked broccoli (in moderation), broccolini (in moderation), one baby carrot every other day (has sugar in it). Since I also have lactose intolerance and broccoli and broccolini (?) have a bit of lactose in them, I take 2 lactase pills with those. Occasionally have mushrooms, a bit of celery, green Swiss chard. Whatever you do, don't ever eat garlic, and if you try onion, only eat a little of the clear juice, not the solids. Fruit: none. Drinks: distilled water. Spices and herbs: cinnamon, thyme, sage, salt, black pepper. Nuts: occasional small amounts of Planters Deluxe mixed nuts (remove the pistachios). Oils: canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, extra light olive oil. Be careful with olive oil – olives are a fruit, and other olive oils have olive fruit juice in them. Regarding no potato skins or brown rice, I believe they contain fructans, chains of fructose, also indigestible if you have fructose malabsorption. Anyway, if anyone knows of any spices/herbs that are ok, I'd appreciate knowing. I've tried oregano and rosemary and they didn't agree. Another thing I use is L-Alanine powder, an amino acid, which was found by a researcher at the U. of Iowa or Iowa State to help the intestine absorb fructose. I take probably 6 tsp. of this a day with the potato chips, etc. All for now. There is a web site that gives all the names for sugars, to help you identify them, and another that gives the sugar content of fruits, vegetables, etc. Next time. I'm not going to talk about FODMAPS etc. but just give practical advice that has worked for me.

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I have been struggling with sugar for 2 years. You are the first person I've learned about with a diet similar to mine. If I ear more than 2 grams of simple sugar at a time, I get a head rush, feel dizzy, and oftentimes have uncontrollable emotions (excess crying, anger, etc). If I eat over 25 g of complex carbs, I fall asleep 1 hour 45 minutes after eating them. I sleep for 2 hours and wake up like nothing happened. I have been tested for every possible endocrine issue and everything is fine there. I also do get very gassy when I eat anything with even a little sugar.

I have not yet seen a GI. Do you have any more insights since you posted this?

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I have recently been diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic deficiency (EPI), Sucrase-Isomaltase Difficiency (CSID), and Collagenous Colitis (CC) and have been told the cause is autoimmune problems. I'm over 60 and I may have to accept the auto immune cause, but am looking for other causes. Any ideas?

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@lelarkin

I have recently been diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic deficiency (EPI), Sucrase-Isomaltase Difficiency (CSID), and Collagenous Colitis (CC) and have been told the cause is autoimmune problems. I'm over 60 and I may have to accept the auto immune cause, but am looking for other causes. Any ideas?

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Hello, my son has been diagnosed with collagenous gastritis, not colitis. He gets stomach aches. I wonder if you have any ideas about the origin of this inflamation and how to relieve the symptoms.

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I also have pain but not tremendous. No one seems to know much about causes…just the mysterious "auto-immune" cause. How does your son get relief?

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Interested in knowing the symptoms of fructose malabsorption?? I am tracking causes of my gut problems. I have very frequent diarrhea, from loose stools to watery explosions many times in a day or throughout the night. I take a lot of Immodium which is helpful and use Metamucil daily. I am not a sweets fan and have no diet sodas, very few colas, cookies, candies, cakes, syrups, etc. and nothing with artificial sweeteners. Cannot tolerate iceberg lettuce, but romaine and most other raw greens are ok. Cooked greens are no problem. I never know what I have ingested that sets it off and nothing is identified as always a culprit. At times, walking into a store and smelling chemicals such as "sizing" can send me rushing to the restroom. I have been tested for most of the usual conditions, with negative results. I have had an Interstem device implanted to control stimulation of anal muscles. No luck. Probiotics have not done much for me although I subscribe to the idea that they must be live culture. I fear that none or very few of my meds or supplements are being metabolized for the needed benefit. I very often see them in whole form in the toilet after a bm. My nails and skin & hair are in awful condition, nails peeling, splitting, crumbling. I am leaning toward the possibility of "leaky gut". If you have experience or symptoms such as these, I would appreciate your comments and possible suggestions.

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@carolinesearch

Interested in knowing the symptoms of fructose malabsorption?? I am tracking causes of my gut problems. I have very frequent diarrhea, from loose stools to watery explosions many times in a day or throughout the night. I take a lot of Immodium which is helpful and use Metamucil daily. I am not a sweets fan and have no diet sodas, very few colas, cookies, candies, cakes, syrups, etc. and nothing with artificial sweeteners. Cannot tolerate iceberg lettuce, but romaine and most other raw greens are ok. Cooked greens are no problem. I never know what I have ingested that sets it off and nothing is identified as always a culprit. At times, walking into a store and smelling chemicals such as "sizing" can send me rushing to the restroom. I have been tested for most of the usual conditions, with negative results. I have had an Interstem device implanted to control stimulation of anal muscles. No luck. Probiotics have not done much for me although I subscribe to the idea that they must be live culture. I fear that none or very few of my meds or supplements are being metabolized for the needed benefit. I very often see them in whole form in the toilet after a bm. My nails and skin & hair are in awful condition, nails peeling, splitting, crumbling. I am leaning toward the possibility of "leaky gut". If you have experience or symptoms such as these, I would appreciate your comments and possible suggestions.

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I've had about 90% of your symptoms and have played gut detective as you have. History of problems go back to my childhood–I'm now 76. Just a couple of months I agreed (yet again) to a colonoscopy. I've had several with a popular gastro group over a 15 year period. My current gastro doc took several biopsies in the colon. Results was Collagenous colitis. She put me on a 3 month long treatment of Budesonide. I'm almost at the end of two months and the change in my BM's and reaction to foods is very promising. The BMs have become less frequent and are now firm and larger. Sometime I will go 1-2 days without any BM at all. I take stool softeners to make sure I don't go longer than two days because of hemorrhoids. Also I've have a section of my colon removed because of diverticulitis and the surgeon stressed that I should not become constipated. Hope my history is in someway helpful. I pray you can find an answer soon. These conditions wreak havoc on our ability to enjoy our lives.

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