Problems with digestion come in all shapes and sizes. There are many causes for these disturbances, which occur anywhere along the long and winding route from mouth to colon. One very hidden cause of digestive trouble is something called fructose intolerance.
Heard of it? This hidden condition has some particularly dreadful side effects that would indicate digestive troubles. Most experts write fructose intolerance off as very rare, but, in truth, the condition is not well understood and there are no accurate ways to figure out just how much of a risk it could be. Thus far, the most frequent rates are pegged at one in 10,000 people.
It is a hereditary disorder in which the body cannot metabolize fructose, which is a type of sugar molecule. This then results in fructose building up in the liver, kidneys and intestines. And this can trigger serious reactions with your blood-sugar levels, causing major abdominal pain and vomiting. You might suspect there is a fructose problem should you experience these symptoms continually after eating foods that have fructose listed as an ingredient. But to be truly diagnosed, a doctor must perform a test on enzyme activity or a “fructose tolerance test.”
Should this little-known condition happen to strike you or someone you know, there is basically one thing to do for relief. To eliminate the abdominal symptoms, the clear answer is to avoid fructose. But it is a bit more problematic than that. You also must avoid sucrose and sorbitol as well — two related sugars that can cause digestive discomfort. It takes some effort to adhere to a diet such as this, but there are many people who do. When you have no other choice, it’s not so hard to stick to it.
The first step is to suppress your sweet tooth, should you have one. Second is to gather nutritional information to see which foods are safe. For starters, here is a small sampling of foods anyone with fructose intolerance is safe to eat:
- Milk and dairy products
- Beef, pork, veal, lamb
- Poultry, turkey
- These vegetables: asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, green peppers, lettuce, spinach, and wax beans
- Potatoes (but not sweet)
- Cereals without sugar
- Soda crackers
- Butter, margarine, oil
- Coffee and tea
- Vegetable juice
- Diet beverages
The notable exceptions include all fruits, ham, bacon, lunch meats, all bread, mayonnaise, and all condiments. Because of the lack of fruits, it may be wise to supplement with vitamins and minerals.