What is Fructose Malabsorption?
Fructose malabsorption is also known as dietary fructose intolerance or DFI, which generally causes great trouble in the functioning of the digestive system. It is important to know how to deal with fructose malabsorption and the causes and symptoms of it to be able to manage it. Fructose is a kind of sugar that is an essential component of all kinds of fruits and is a part of almost every processed food and in fact; there are some of the vegetables which can consist of this compound. Inability to digest this form of sugar and ultimately the substances, which contain fructose is seen in fructose malabsorption.
Fructose malabsorption shows symptoms which are very much similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Hence, it becomes necessary to understand the way fructose malabsorption presents itself and get the diagnosis done correctly.
What are the Causes of Fructose Malabsorption?
In fructose malabsorption, the body is unable to digest and absorb fructose sugar. When body is unable to take in the fructose, intestine or colon may swell due to this undigested fructose. This results in swelling in the intestine and gas is produced in the digestive tract. There are many causes of fructose malabsorption and it may lead to bloating, gas, cramping and distension.
In some cases, fructose malabsorption may be seen running in families and heredity can be considered as one of the causes of malabsorption. Other common causes of fructose malabsorption include:
- Dumping syndrome.
- Celiac disease.
- Overuse of fruit juices in diet.
- Growth of bacteria in small intestine.
Some of the causes and risk factors of fructose malabsorption can include:
- Infants as well as adults.
- People who are suffering from the irritable bowel syndrome.
- People suffering from gastric disturbances or serious gastrointestinal disorders.
- People with family members and immediate relatives with fructose malabsorption.
What are the Symptoms of Fructose Malabsorption?
Fructose malabsorption indications include a common symptom that is a disturbed digestive system. Small intestine gets severely swollen owing to the inability to absorb fructose and this eventually causes severe troubles if left untreated. It is generally seen that the symptoms of fructose malabsorption can come up at any age.
When you are intolerant towards fructose then your body will show it up within about 2 hours. Here are some of the symptoms of fructose malabsorption:
- You may not like the foods which are sweet in taste. Avoidance or a dislike for sweets or fruits is a common symptom of fructose malabsorption.
- Your stomach will always have a bloated feeling, if you take any food that is high in sugars.
- Flatulence is one of the other commonest symptom of fructose malabsorption.
- Gurgling is another common complaint in many people experiencing fructose malabsorption.
- Diarrhea, too is a common symptom of fructose malabsorption and is mostly aggravated by eating fruits and sugars.
- Pain in abdomen which may be constant or intermittent when you have taken the fructose is yet another common complaint.
The indications of fructose malabsorption also include a feeling of depression and anxiety when your stomach is not working. Also, an upset stomach can affect the other body functions, sleep and activity as well.
How to Deal with Fructose Malabsorption?
Dealing with fructose malabsorption is not that difficult, provided that the condition is not hereditary. Even in cases, which run in families, appropriate dietary control can help to deal with fructose malabsorption.
So, the first step to deal with fructose malabsorption is to ensure that a low-fructose diet is always there to enable a more healthy recovery for you. There are times when you are highly intolerant towards the fruit juice, so you may exclude it completely out of the diet that you are taking.
You can deal with fructose malabsorption by limiting the diet of those foods which are high on fructose so that you have no trouble when it comes to the stomach upset problem. Cure for fructose malabsorption also includes keeping your fluid intake high so that digestion remains healthier.
It is important to follow a proper diet plan and take necessary supplementation or medications according to medical advice to be able to deal with fructose malabsorption.
Know Your Fructose Tolerance Level to Deal with Fructose Malabsorption
To find out if you are really fructose intolerant, a tolerance level may work out well for you in which small quantities of fructose sugar needs to be taken. Resulting symptoms can give an indication whether the sugar is being absorbed well or if there is malabsorption. Also, the related indication will reveal the symptom, which may be mild or severe. Knowing this too can help to deal with fructose malabsorption.
In the procedure to find the level of intolerance for fructose, initially, a low level of the fructose is given and then the response of the body is observed. When the tolerance levels are crossed at the initial levels, then higher degree of the dosage is being reintroduced. In this regard, the response is again observed.
For 4 to 6 weeks or so, the low dosage of fructose sugar is given and afterwards, the higher levels are introduced in the digestive tract through the diet. On an average, it takes almost 3 days for the fructose compound to pass on the digestive tract. There would be many of the foods (or some of the foods) that are simply not suited for your body. To check the tolerance level towards these compounds, you may take these foods in smaller quantities. Then onwards, you will experience how your body responds towards fructose. This can help in determining the diet when trying to deal with fructose malabsorption.
If everything goes well, then you may increase the intake of such foods and this is what you will have to observe in the long run. There are cases when people have an extreme level of fructose intolerance which may be hereditary. In such cases, one has to strictly and completely avoid the intake of fructose to be able to deal with fructose malabsorption.