Fruits are an important part of our diet, but eating them can cause uncomfortable symptoms for people with fructose intolerance. Fructose is a type of sugar found in fruits, honey, and some vegetables. For people intolerant to fructose, eating foods that contain it can cause problems like stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. These symptoms can get uncomfortable and, if neglected, can lead to more serious problems. In this read, we will take a deeper look at fructose intolerance, the types, and the foods to avoid. Let’s get started.
Types of fructose intolerance
As aforementioned, fructose intolerance refers to the inability to properly digest and absorb the sugar fructose. There are two types of fructose intolerance, dietary and hereditary fructose intolerance
- Dietary fructose intolerance– This is the most common type of fructose intolerance and occurs when the cells in the intestines cannot properly absorb fructose.
- Hereditary fructose intolerance– This type of fructose intolerance caused by a genetic mutation that results in the lack of the aldolase B enzyme. This is a rare condition found in less than 1 % of the population.
Symptoms of fructose intolerance
The symptoms of fructose intolerance can vary from person to person but often include;
- Stomach pain
In more severe cases, liver damage or even death can occur. But how can you be certain that you suffer from fructose intolerance and not any other illness? Remember, some of these symptoms are similar to other conditions, like intestinal bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to speak with your doctor.
The doctor will do some tests like a blood test or a breath test to determine if you have fructose intolerance. The breath test is done by having the person drink a liquid that contains fructose. If the person has fructose intolerance, the breath will contain a certain enzyme called hydrogen sulfide.
Foods to avoid
If you are intolerant to fructose, it is important to avoid foods that contain it. By doing so, you will avoid experiencing some of the painful symptoms that make you uncomfortable and sick. Some of the foods to avoid include;
- Fruits such as apples, pears, watermelon, and mango
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
- Baked goods such as pastries, cakes, and cookies
- Salad dressings and sauces
In general, it is best to avoid foods that are high in sugar. So, if you are unsure if a food contains fructose, it is best to avoid it.
Treatment for fructose intolerance
There is no cure for fructose intolerance, but there are treatments that can help lessen the symptoms. The treatment depends on the type of fructose intolerance that you have. But generally, one should avoid foods with high levels of fructose. The good thing is that there are plenty of foods you can substitute with, such as oranges, grapefruit, and other low-fructose fruits. Additionally, some medications can help with symptoms, like antacids for stomach pain and diarrhea medication for diarrhea. Speak with your doctor to find out what is best for you.