Table of Contents
- Types of fructose intolerance
- Identifying diet-related fructose intolerance
- How to manage fructose intolerance
Fructose is a sugar found in several fruits and other vegetables. However, an innocent piece of watermelon or a handful of raisins can completely ruin a day for someone with fructose intolerance. Flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are among the symptoms of fructose intolerance. Find out more about fructose intolerance, including the types, symptoms, diagnosis, and management.
Types of fructose intolerance
Dietary fructose intolerance
Cells in your intestine fail to properly absorb fructose if you have dietary fructose intolerance. In this case, consuming foods high in fructose can cause uncomfortable symptoms in those who have dietary fructose intolerance (also known as fructose malabsorption), such as:
Hereditary fructose intolerance
People with this genetic disorder are born missing an enzyme that breaks down fructose; therefore, they cannot digest it at all. The symptoms appear soon after infants begin eating their first solid foods. They include:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Low sugar levels
- Strong aversion to sugar
- Issues with development and progress
Hereditary fructose sensitivity can result in serious illness, unlike dietary fructose intolerance. Fructose that is not metabolized can accumulate in the body and harm the kidneys and liver. If a person with the disease continues to consume fructose, it may eventually cause organ failure, coma, and seizures. Hereditary fructose intolerance can be diagnosed and confirmed through genetic testing.
Unfortunately, dietary fructose intolerance is not always easy to diagnose. Irritable bowel syndrome, for example, shares some symptoms with this disorder. There isn’t a single test that can provide a definitive answer.
The amount of methane and hydrogen a patient exhales after consuming a fructose-containing liquid can be measured by doctors using a fructose breath test. That can help doctors diagnose even though it isn’t entirely conclusive.
To seek signs, your doctor will also inquire about your eating habits. Keeping track of your symptoms and the foods you eat will help determine whether high-fructose meals trigger your symptoms.
How to manage fructose intolerance
Your physician will probably suggest an elimination diet if you suspect fructose intolerance. You’ll abstain from fructose for a few weeks. To determine how much fructose you can take without experiencing any side effects, you can gradually start reintroducing meals containing it.
Typical foods high in fructose include:
- Most fruits, particularly those that are dried and canned in juice or syrup.
- Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, red pepper, shallots, and tomato-related items.
- Foods processed with wheat as their main component, such as wheat bread and spaghetti.
- Sweeteners including high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and honey.
- Drinks with fructose as a sweetener and sweets.
Fortunately, some fruits have a lower sugar content than others.
These lower-fructose choices may be suitable for some people who are intolerant to dietary fructose:
- Both limes and lemons
There might be a difference in how well certain persons can tolerate different fruits. It may take a lot of trials to determine what works for your body.Working with a dietician during this process is helpful to determine what works and ensure you’re still getting appropriate nutrition.