Fructose is a type of sugar found in many fruits and vegetables and is the technical term for fruit sugar. In people with fructose intolerance, the body cannot digest fructose properly.
How you can recognize whether you suffer from such an intolerance, what causes it, and more information on the subject of fructose intolerance can be found in this article.
What is fructose intolerance?
Fructose intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to properly digest fructose. When someone with fructose intolerance eats foods containing fructose, it can cause abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. In extreme cases, malnutrition can even occur because nutrients cannot be absorbed.
In addition to these symptoms, people with fructose intolerance may also experience abdominal pain or cramping due to increased pressure in the intestines caused by gas produced by fructose-consuming bacteria.
What is the cause?
The underlying cause of fructose intolerance is often unknown but may be due to an acquired disorder or disturbed intestinal flora. This disorder can lead to inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and prevent proper absorption of fructose.
This means that when fructose enters the small intestine, it is not absorbed as quickly as glucose. As a result, the fructose moves on to the colon, where bacteria are present in large numbers. The bacteria consume the fructose, producing large amounts of gas such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
The symptoms of fructose intolerance include, in addition to those already listed above, nausea and vomiting after eating foods containing fructose. Hidden sources of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, are often found in processed foods and should be avoided by sufferers.
How do I find out if I have fructose intolerance?
To diagnose fructose intolerance, your doctor may recommend a breath test or blood test. If you suspect you have this condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor about dietary changes that can help control symptoms.
Left untreated, this condition can lead to malabsorption of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, which over time can have serious health consequences. Therefore, it is important for those affected to see a doctor to receive treatment to help control their symptoms and improve their overall health.
You can find more interesting information on the subject of intolerances on the website of Greenfood.
Where does the disease of fructose intolerance come from?
Fructose intolerance is a condition that can either be congenital or occur during life. The congenital form of fructose intolerance is rare but can cause dangerous hypoglycemia and severe health problems such as fatty liver disease.
Affected individuals must therefore maintain a fructose-free diet throughout their lives. In contrast, the form of fructose intolerance that occurs during life is much more common and has other causes. It results from a disturbed fructose transport system in the intestinal wall, which can be caused by an inflamed intestinal mucosa.
Affected individuals must follow a strict fructose-free diet to avoid further health complications. In addition to avoiding foods containing fructose, it is important to read food labels carefully and watch for hidden sources of fructose such as high fructose corn syrup or agave nectar.
Eating out can also be difficult because of the risk of cross-contamination from other fructose-containing ingredients. With careful monitoring and adherence to a strict diet, people with acquired fructose intolerance can still lead a healthy lifestyle.
The different types of fructose intolerance
There are two main forms of fructose intolerance: intestinal fructose intolerance (also known as fructose malabsorption) and hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI). Intestinal fructose intolerance is the most common form of the disease. It occurs when the transport system for fructose in the small intestine is disrupted. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Hereditary fructose intolerance is much rarer than intestinal fructose intolerance and affects people from birth. It is caused by an enzyme deficiency that prevents the body from breaking down fructose into simpler sugars. Symptoms can include jaundice, low blood sugar, vomiting, tiredness, and liver damage.
Another form of fructose intolerance is sorbitol intolerance, in which the body cannot break down sorbitol, a sugar alcohol found in some fruits and vegetables, into glucose. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Fructose intolerance and sorbitol
People with fructose intolerance also need to watch their sorbitol consumption. Sorbitol is an exchange sugar that can worsen the symptoms of fructose intolerance because it blocks the absorption of fructose through the intestinal wall. This additive (E420) is commonly used in a range of products, including industrially manufactured foods, tooth-friendly candies, and diet and light products.
For people with fructose intolerance, it is important to read food labels carefully and avoid any products that contain sorbitol. If you are unsure about a product, it is best to contact the manufacturer directly for more information. If you experience symptoms of any kind after consuming a product containing sorbitol, be sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
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Excessive intake of fructose can cause bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea due to intolerance. If you experience these symptoms after eating foods containing fructose, it is advisable to get tested.
There are a variety of foods that should be avoided if you are fructose intolerant. This includes fruits rich in fructose, such as apples, pear, mango, fig, etc., or vegetables containing fructose, such as eggplant, bean, fennel, carrot, and other vegetables.
In the case of hereditary fructose intolerance, lifelong abstinence from fructose is the only way to recovery. People with fructose intolerance primarily reach for low-fructose and fructose-free versions of sweetened, processed foods and convenience foods.
If fructose intolerance goes unrecognized, untreated, or ignored for a long period of time, more serious problems can occur. Among other symptoms, nausea, fatigue, heartburn, depression and headaches may also occur. It is difficult to diagnose fructose intolerance based on symptoms alone.