Fructose intolerance is common among most people. It might sound like the only way out is by leaving fruits out of your diet. However, most foods have fructose in them.

This post seeks to shed light on fructose intolerance and the best way to go about it.

Fructose is evident in foods like vegetable grains and even the sugars we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Types of fructose intolerance disorders

Fructose malabsorption

This type of food sensitivity could result from genetics, exposure to fructose, lifestyle factors, or food sensitivities.

If you suffer fructose malabsorption, you can’t absorb or digest fructose. This causes fructose to pass through the large intestines resulting in painful digestion and gases.

In some instances, fructose malabsorption makes digestion of foods that fall under fermentable oligosaccharides difficult. These foods include monosaccharides and polyols( FODMAPS). Under FODMAPS, you are likely to find foods that are both artificial and natural sweeteners.

Essential fructosuria

It is also known as fructokinase deficiency and is not harmful. You could have it and not even be aware. The only time this condition is recessive is when a child receives it genetically from both parents. However, when they receive the gene from only one parent, they become carriers.

Anyone who suffers essential fructosuria lacks hepatic fructokinase; this is a liver enzyme that can break down fructose. The best part is that most people with this condition hardly show any signs and don’t require treatment.

Hereditary fructose intolerance

This condition is present at birth. This means that most kids start to show symptoms once they start eating solid foods. The worst part is that if treatment is not found, the condition can be life-threatening.

The condition’s symptoms include delay in growth, jaundice, vomiting, hyperventilation, liver or kidney failure, intense dislike of sweets, and impaired physical development.

Treatment and management

Treatment is determined by the type of fructose intolerance in question.

Fructose malabsorption

If you have fructose malabsorption, it is best to follow a low fructose diet and keep a food log. By reducing your intake of fructose, you will ease symptoms within 3 to 6 weeks. Once the signs are clear, you can gradually introduce such foods to measure the fructose amount you can tolerate.

Hereditary fructose intolerance

The condition can’t be cured. The only way out is avoiding foods with fructose at all costs.

Avoiding fructose means avoiding all fruits and some foods. It is advisable to seek professional help in eating a balanced diet to prevent nutrition deficiencies.

Foods to avoid

It helps to avoid foods and beverages that have high fructose corn syrup. Such foods include most processed items such as pre-packaged baked foods and soda.

It would also help if you avoided sorbitol found in gums and candies, fruits, and fruit-sweetened snacks.

Wrapping up

The best way to ascertain whether or not you have fructose malabsorption is to check if you experience the above symptoms each time you eat foods with high fructose levels.