10 Fructose Malabsorption Symptoms

Posted in fructose malabsorption on June 1, 2016
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Naturally occuring Fructose can be found in a range of foods that you wouldn't expect like apples, pears, honey, and even some vegetables.

This is on top of the sources that we already know about like soda and other heavily processed foods that you buy from the store (like peanute sauce!).

While for most people, digesting fructose is not a problem, one in three people are UNABLE to absorb this fructose properly in the small intestine, which leads to a range of fructose malabsorption symptoms.

When fructose is unable to be digested, it travels to the large intestine, where bacteria consumes it and releases carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane gas into the body.

This can result in many uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms and can lead to other neurological symptoms as well...

...below I’ve broken down the top 10 fructose malabsorption symptoms into these 2 categories and tried to explain why they occur in the first place!

Gastrointestinal symptoms of fructose malabsorption

  1. Bloating
  2. Flatulence
  3. Reflux
  4. Stomach pain
  5. Nausea/Vomiting
  6. Diarrhea/Constipation

Gastrointestinal symptoms are the most common complaints of fructose malabsorption sufferers.

The gas produced by the bacteria in the large intestine after it consumes the excess fructose will result in flatulence, bloating, and reflux.

You may experience stomach pain as a result of muscle spasms, from chronic, mild spasms to acute and severe.

If you consume too much fructose in a single sitting and your body cannot absorb it, it may try to expel the fructose instead, leading to nausea and vomiting.

The large intestine will pull in too much water to aid the body in absorbing nutrients when it detects an imbalance, and this excess water will lead to diarrhea.

Further irritation of the large intestine and colon can result in the body alternating between diarrhea and constipation.

 

Neurological symptoms of fructose malabsorption

  1. Fatigue
  2. Mental depression
  3. Headaches/Brain Fog
  4. Mood changes

When the body cannot absorb fructose, it also loses the ability to absorb many important nutrients.

...this is for two reasons...

  • First of all, diarrhea (the most frequent symptom of fructose malabsorption) will cause the body to flush nutrients too quickly from the body;
  • Second of all is that when the normal bacteria in the large intestine gorge on the abnormal presence of fructose, the intestinal flora is left unbalanced.

Fructose malabsorption will thus lead to many nutrient deficiencies, specifically of folic acid, iron, tryptophan, and zinc, and vitamins C, D, and E.

All of these nutrients are vital for different operating systems in the body, and especially are related to healthy brain function.

For example, lack of folic acid can cause brain fog, mood changes, headaches, and fructose malabsorption depression, while iron deficiency will prevent oxygen from reaching the brain in adequate amounts and thus lead to fatigue.

Meanwhile, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that our bodies synthesize into serotonin, the absence of which is a key precursor to depression.

What are the symptoms of Fructose Intolerance?

  • The symptoms of fructose malabsorption include bloating, flatulence, reflux, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, mental depression, headaches, brain fog, mood changes.

 

Similarities to other food allergies

If you experience gastrointestinal distress, fructose malabsorption may be the culprit.

Note, however, that these symptoms are very similar for sufferers of lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

In some cases, these conditions may overlap.

ALWAYS check with a doctor to get the proper diagnosis for your symptoms.

 

What to do if you experience these symptoms

Keep a food diary and start to eliminate foods that would cause fructose malabsorption.

Notice if there are any changes after you cut them out of your diet.

Try reintroducing the foods slowly and see how your body reacts. (Note: when making changes to your diet, it is best to do so with the supervision of a dietician.)

As with any case of experiencing symptoms such as the 10 listed above, schedule an appointment to see your doctor.

Your doctor can officially diagnose fructose malabsorption using a hydrogen breath test, a noninvasive test that monitors the amount of gas produced in your breath after you consume fructose.

The doctor may then prescribe a low-fructose diet that helps your body get back in balance.
So which symptoms do you get when you eat a bit of Fructose?
How long after you eat food with Fructose in it will symptoms materialise?
How long does it last before you're back to normal?

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