Fruits and vegetables have formed a part of our diets for many years. The healthful and healing properties of apples, onions and honey have been touted for a long time and most of us are able to metabolise the sugars in these foods with little or no trouble at all making it easy for the vast majority of people to take advantage of the benefits that various vegetables, fruits and whole-grains.

For some, however, a condition (known as fructose malabsorption) can develop. This problem affects 1 in 3 people and occurs when the body cannot metabolise fructose in the normal way. Here is an article on it that provides greater detail that I highly recommend for my readers.

Now that you know more about foods that need to be avoided on a fructose-friendly diet, I thought I’d draw my readers to a few things I’ve noticed with the progression of this condition that has affected others in my family. These are not scientifically backed up (from what I’m aware) but may help us understand what other treatments may be possible:

  • Australia ‘appears’ to have a much higher rate of it than most other countries.
  • According to one of our previous naturopaths, it seems to occur as a result of damage to the small intestine – possibly due to a parasite infection caused by consumption of contaminated water.
  • Although it seems to (more commonly) affect celiacs, initiation of a gluten free diet does not appear to prevent the future possibility of the development of FM.
  • There is currently no known cure for fructose malabsorption. Dextrose tablets can help assist with managing the condition, however they are not a substitute for a low-fructose diet.
  • Most people with lactose intolerance (which affects about 2 in 3 people worldwide) have some degree of fructose malabsorption and vice-versa.
A notable concept of wheat is that not only is it high in gluten content, it’s also high in fructose. So not only do celiacs and gluten sensitive people have to avoid wheat – those with fructose malabsorption may also have difficulty with large amounts of it. Makes me wonder why so many companies sweeten our gluten free foods with chicory, inulin and fruit juice concentrates (sigh :?).
As a result, the fructose-friendly diet can be very restrictive – especially those with a high sensitivity. Apples, pears, onions and honey are some of the worst foods for this condition and can cause MAJOR symptoms within an hour of consumption. Other fruits and vegetables can also be a problem depending on the level of sensitivity. Much of the pain, however, seems to be experienced in the large intestine as a result of the lack of small intestine function. One of the symptoms I typically see (even in myself) is extreme constipation.
Since I had recently found (and posted about) a product that *appears* to have been extremely successful in treating people with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity who can now eat bread without any ill effects (many of which before were VERY serious) I decided to have a look into any potential solutions that may help alleviate the symptoms of this dreaded issue as well. Avoiding gluten is easy in comparison to avoiding fructose! So when I recently happened to stumble across a thread on one of the CFS forums, where someone found that they were able to take a supplement and eat 2 apples a day, I was ‘all-eyes’! ;)
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Think I’ve cured Fructose Malabsorption - February 20th, 2012

My fructose malabsorption was diagnosed by KDM as being medium-severe. I could not eat any fruit at all, and had to ration most vegetables too, to avoid lots of pain, extreme bloating and gas.I’ve been taking these supps for the last 5 months:

Jarrow N Acetyl Glucosamine 750mg (blurb says N-A-G combines with mucin secreted from goblet cells to form the glycocalyx, a protective layer of glycoproteins and polysaccharides that lines the digestive tract.)

Jarrow Glucosamine HCI Mega 1000mg (Glucosamine is an aminosaccharide synthesized from glucose and the amino acid L-glutamine. HCl (hydrochloric acid) stabilizes the glucosamine in this product. Glucosamine is a component of joint and intestinal tissue. Glucosamine is converted to N-acetyl-glucosamine in the intestines by the goblet cells.)

(one a day of each)

I believe they work by healing the cells lining the intestine that produce GLUT-5.

I decided to try them as I was getting desperate to help my poor innards with anything I could. After 3 weeks I tested some fruit (actually I got a cold and the fruit cravings overcame me) and now I can get away with eating 2 apples in one go, or drinking a whole glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. I even ate a slice of toast a honey.
After the first packs ran out I went back to having full scale fructose problems within 3 weeks, so this is not a one-off cure, I need it as an ongoing thing. But it is wonderful to be able to eat all those healthy things that I had to avoid.

… to be continued

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