The Fructose Malabsorption Diet

  • 6 September 2016
  • Brett

You may be aware of the fact that the excessive consumption of sugar or fructose can be dangerous for your bodies metabolism.

People can even gain problems like diabetes from eating fructose in small amounts, but they can be overloaded with sugar by eating a high-fat diet as they typically contain an abundance of refined sugars, which can be harmful for you.

But you can be suffering from the problem of fructose malabsorption, an altogether different health problem, if you are suffering from diarrhea, stomach ache and other digestive problems even after not eating the foods that don't increase your sugar level.

In such cases you will have to go for fructose malabsorption diet to get rid of this problem.

But before discussing these diets you understand what fructose malabsorption means

What Is Fructose Malabsorption?

In simple words fructose is the natural carbohydrate or sugar from fruits.

Some of the fructose you get by eating certain fruits is absorbed by your small intestine through some special cells.

But, if these cells do not deal with the fructose properly and their absorption level is lower than normal i.e. 50 gm at a time, then you may be suffering from fructose malabsorption.

Unabsorbed fructose is collected in your guy, which can cause two types of problems including:

  • Deficiency of water in the intestine:

    People without fructose malabsorption rarely experience constipation as their small intestine draws enough water to keep their stool soft and passes it easily. But people with fructose malabsorption have to face painful diarrhea and other digestive problems even after eating fructose rich foods like prunes and raisins etc. 
     
  • Production of gas:

    Your gut flora gets excessive food from the excessive unabsorbed fructose in your system. This food will be eaten by your gut flora after fermenting it which will help in producing gas to cause the body to bloat and create flatulence. 

So, you may be suffering from fructose malabsorption if you get bloating, painful diarrhoea or gas even after eating fructose rich foods. But it may not be true in every case because: 

  • If you are getting these symptoms even after eating garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables, leeks and other roughage foods then it can be FODMAP instead of fructose malabsorption.
     
  • If the symptoms occur after eating probiotic supplements or foods then the problem can be due to the bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine instead of unabsorbed fructose.

So it is difficult to find out number of people suffering from fructose malabsorption as fructose can also cause certain digestive symptoms which cannot be linked with fructose malabsorption. But still if you have considerable symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders even after eating fructose rich foods like honey, agave and other sweet fruits then you can be a positive case of fructose malabsorption.
 

The Fructose Malabsorption Elimination Diet: for the people living with fructose malabsorption

So, if fructose malabsorption is one of your main health problems or if you are suspecting for it then it is better for you to check with elimination diet or fructose malabsorption diet.

It will help you in limiting your fructose intake to the level your gut can absorb easily.

It can be done easily by eliminating the foods from your diet that gives you horrible diarrhoea or gas after eating them.

It has been proved through various studies that low fructose or fructose free diet can help in providing your relief by treating the symptoms. 

Choosing the diet for fructose malabsorption

You should avoid eating unfavourable foods that have excessive fructose like:

  1. Honey;
  2. Major sweetening foods like high fructose corn solids and syrup along with canned and concentrated fruit juices;
  3. Fruits including pear, apple, honeydew melon, guava, nashi fruit, mango, watermelon, papaya, grape, cherry, lychee and persimmon etc; and
  4. Cried fruits like apricot, apple, date, currant, pear, fig, raisin, prune etc

After eliminating these foods you should include low fructose foods and the foods having equal amounts of glucose and fructose in your fructose malabsorption diet. Glucose is also a carbohydrate that helps in the absorption of fructose if consumed simultaneously. 

Some of the favourable foods may include: 

  1. Berry fruits like blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, boysenberry, strawberry and raspberry;
  2. Stone fruits like nectarine, apricot, plum and peach etc;
  3. Citrus fruits like grapefruit, kumquat, lime, lemon, orange, tangelo and mandarin etc; and
  4. Other fruits like jackfruit, ripe banana, passion fruit, kiwi fruit, tamarillo, pineapple and rhubarb etc.

Along with these foods you can also chose glucose rich supplements, sports drinks, tablets, syrup, powder and confectionery items to help in improving the absorption of fructose. 

Though all the foods listed above may not be friendly to your gut but still they can help you in eliminating and choosing the foods for your fructose malabsorption diet. 

These foods can help in relieving your digestive disorders by taking care of the imbalances in your gut flora. But they may r may not be helpful for your fructose malabsorption as the main problem is in the cells lined on the wall of the small intestine instead of gut flora. They can be helpful for you to some extent if your problem has been deteriorated by the overgrowth of gut flora but still they cannot eliminate the root cause of fructose malabsorption.

Thus, fructose malabsorption is one of the most complicated health problems like various types of digestive disorders that have similar symptoms. It cannot be treated similarly as it has an entirely different root cause. The existence of diarrhea or gas bouts even after eating fructose rich foods like dates and raisins then it is clear symptom of fructose malabsorption. The only effective way to treat this problem is to adjust your fructose malabsorption diet by recognising the fructose absorption level of your body. You can eliminate some of the unfavourable foods listed above from your routine diet and add some favorable foods listed above to create a favorable balance in your diet which can help in improving the absorption of fructose in your small intestine. It will help you in getting rid of the symptoms of the problem of fructose malabsorption gradually.

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