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Fructose Intolerance - Symptoms of The New Food Allergy on the Block

Updated on September 8, 2013

Symptoms of Fructose Malabsorption

The symptoms of fructose intolerance are nearly the same as the typical symptoms for IBS and other food intolerances, but symptoms will vary from person to person.

  • Diarrhea - by far the most common symptom, which often leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as food passes out of the system too quickly.
  • Constipation may alternate with diarrhea.
  • Bloating and flatulence.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

What is Fructose Intolerance?

Though it is commonly referred to as fructose intolerance or fructose allergy, fructose malabsorption is the current medical term for this condition; which is emerging as a possible culprit for the mysterious intestinal symptoms associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

The disorder is often discovered after a patient with unexplained digestive distress is referred to a gastroenterologist for testing.


Diagnosing a Fructose Allergy

The test for diagnosing fructose malabsorption is a relatively easy one. All it involves is one day on a special diet (white foods, like chicken, fish, potatoes, rice, bread, etc.), followed by a 12-hour overnight fast and a hydrogen breath test in the morning. The breath test is often used to test for lactose intolerance, also. When either of these proteins are not being absorbed properly, the problem will show up on your breath as excess hydrogen.

How to Treat Fructose Intolerance

There is currently no medication that will magically make it possible for a person to digest fructose properly, so a modified diet is necessary. Certain fruits and vegetables will need to be eliminated, but most of all, foods and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup will have to go. Certain alcoholic beverages will be problematic, while others may have no effect. Often, small amounts of fructose will still be tolerated, but a person must experiment to find the right amount for him or herself.

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    • profile image

      noel 3 years ago

      It is really the only substance intolerance that has been very well studied,aside from celiac disease. a the best source is DR. Susan Shepherd who is a nutrition expert in Australia.Google her and find the real expert opinion!

    • findwholeness profile image

      Kristine McAdams 4 years ago from Midwest

      It really is very confusing. And a lot of the information online is incorrect. There is a lot of trial and error involved.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Well that sounds like a pain. I guess you have to totally cut out factory foods. Even a person who tries to avoid packaged foods occasionally resorts to that convenience. This food intolerance sounds confusing - you must have to do a lot of research.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Thanks for addressing the topic of high fructose. I have avoided products containing high fructose corn syrup for a few years when I became aware of what this product was all about. Now, thankfully, many items list the omission of this ingredient on the label but we still need to be alert about other ingredients. Also, appreciate your mentioning sorbital which is also an ingredient that caused members to sicken. I grew up on a farm and never knew, at that time, how lucky I was to have all of those fresh fruits and vegetables. Thanks much!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for an interesting introduction to fructose intolerance.

    • findwholeness profile image

      Kristine McAdams 4 years ago from Midwest

      This link has a list of foods to avoid. But remember, people with one food intolerance often have another. I have both fructose and lactose intolerance. So eliminating one source may not resolve all symptoms.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      I've never heard of fructose intolerance...what foods cause it? What foods should be avoided if you have it?