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  1. #1
    misspudding's Avatar
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    Fructose Malabsorption

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    Any fructose malabsorption sufferers here?

    My son was formally diagnosed with it in January. It involves drinking a solution of pure fructose + water and blowing into a machine that measures hydrogen. It's a pain in the arse because I'm having trouble getting him to eat enough, since he also has a dairy allergy (butter is fine). Being a FM sufferer means you pretty much don't eat fruit or wheat, except for berries and some low-excess fructose fruits. And you can't do more than one serving of fruit at a meal (so no smoothies, for instance).

    Thankfully, he's always loved meat. He won't touch most veggies, including potatoes (ugh!), though. Wheat is off-limits, as are apples, pears, mangoes, watermelon. Honey is the worst. It actually has more fructose than HFCS. Agave is up there, too. Coconut, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery all seem to be problematic, too. Any kind of fiber replacement that they put in processed food usually consists of inulin or chicory, both of which are awful (fructans) for FM (they usually put it in gluten free food to bulk up the fiber/reduce the glycemic index, and or in things that have no fiber on their own, like stevia powder).

    Unfortunately, subsisting on a meat-heavy diet with very little plant matter causes it's own problem (constipation), so I have to give him brown rice and oats, but it's still not enough fiber most of the time.

    Bananas are okay and he'll eat them. Same with pineapple. The occasional green bean crosses his lips if he's feeling adventurous.

    Wondering if anyone else has this and what you do for higher calorie, non-meat sources of fuel. And tricks for fiber that won't cause major IBS symptoms? Really struggling to pack weight on him. He's at 3% on the growth chart and was at 50% in October. He's 7 years old so...pickiness reigns.

    If any of you think you might have FM, here's a great publication on amounts of glucose/fructose in various foods. The key is to consume no excess fructose and no more than 0.5 grams of fructose greater than the amount of glucose in something. It doesn't list fructans, which apparently is more of a individual-specific sort of thing than fructose. Some people don't have much of a problem with fructans but pretty much everyone with FM has fructose problems.

    Food Composition Classics

    Scroll down to the PDF entitled "Sugar Content of Selected Foods: Individual and Total".
    Last edited by misspudding; 04-07-2012 at 01:32 AM. Reason: more detail
    Am I still allowed to lick rocks on this diet?

    I was a vegetarian once. You should have seen my awful cholesterol back then...

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  2. #2
    zizou's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I have been diagnosed with FM aswell, for almost 2 years now i've been having digestive issues and after a few tests i had been diagnosed with a few conditions, FM being one of them. I have somewhat good news for you, in that switching my diet around to be more like what the primal diet is, has helped me improve my health and take my mind off the negatives associated with FM and other digestive issues i have.

    I'm in Australia, where the leading research is being done in regards to FM, a university is dedicated to testing foods and releasing updated results on foods. I can suggest you google search 'fructose malabsorption yahoo group' and join up if you feel like reading about people who suffer from FM. It's mainly Aussie based i think but lot of people discuss issues on there and you can gain some insight and updated info.

    I actually feel fibre was an enemy of mine, like you said fibre can aggrevate IBS symptoms, and actually my diet prior to this would have been very low fat and i believe i was fibre dependent. I read a webstie gutsense.org and learnt about how fibre can be your worst enemy in fighting constipation. I recommend you look into it too. It's unfortunate your son has the condition at such a young age, but there is hope out there that FM can be greatly improved, with following good habits in regards to the foods you eat and help steady the digestive system and improve it with things such as fermented veggies (good bacteria), avoiding problematic foods, eating a primal way whereby minimising grains that are known to cause distress and eating safe alternatives. Find your sons personal tolerances.

    Btw green beans are awesome and i eat em by the bucketload. All the best to you and your son, its a very annoying/frustrating thing but ultimately cna be a minor thing depending on how you manage it.

    Also you will find that evey FM sufferer has their own limits and can tolerate different foods and amounts.

  3. #3
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    I have to eat a fairly low fructose diet due to susceptibility to candida.

    Pure cocoa powder is very high in fiber and minerals, and very low in sugar. 100 g contains 1.8 g sugar and at least 12 g of fiber. This varies by brand.

    nutritiondata says 33 g fiber per 100g!
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened

    Perhaps you could blend a banana with some cocoa powder and rice or almond milk? The sweetness of the banana should offset the bitterness of the cocoa. I don't mind the bitterness but it's not to everyone's taste.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    I don't know if this will offer any new information, but I just came across this post the other day...maybe it could at least be a resource for you...good luck!

    IBS, Depression, and Skin Problems in Fructose Malabsorption | The Primal Parent

  5. #5
    al09's Avatar
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    I don't know if this will offer any new information, but I just came across this post the other day...maybe it could at least be a resource for you...good luck!

    IBS, Depression, and Skin Problems in Fructose Malabsorption | The Primal Parent

  6. #6
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    Great link above here..

    I suffer from forms of this as well.. I've found my digestive system has healed quite well by going almost ZERO Carb, or at most VLC (with exception to a banana for breakfast which seems to set fine with me).. Its not only fructose for me, its Sweet Potatoes, Rice, White Potatoes, pretty much starch in general is not a friend of my guts.. Too much fiber as well simply tears up my stomach, so even even vegetables have to be eaten in moderation..

    So I've played with raising my Fat quite a bit & seeing how I feel.. I eat a lot of red meat, full-fat yogurt, 6 eggs for breakfast, a whole avocado every day, fish of course any other type of protein from clean meats I can find.. I notice virtually ALL bloating, inflammation, skin irritation, allergies, & gassy-ness has disappeared.. My skin looks fantastic.. I feel great, I don't get tired after eating.. For me, its an issue with most carbohydrate in general..

    Most of my research & "cure" has come from IBS research.. My digestive system seems to get aggrevated by carbohydrates.. I eliminate carbs, & my stomach has relaxed & my body looks & feel fantastic.. So, for me it wasn't only about fructose, starch was included in my digestive issues.. Typically one irritant (in your case fructose) could manifest into issues with other types of carbohydrate.. Getting control of this now is key, gotta rebuild & strengthen digestive tract again. I believe, eliminating most carbohydrates in my diet has allowed me to pull in more nutrients & vitamins from other foods that I eat.. Seems the fiber & sugars have wreaked havoc on me for quite some time & has interupted absorption of nutrients coming from foods that go down with the carbs.. High Protein, High Fat has been the ticket to fixing this for me..

    I've also started supplementing with "cod liver oil", a probiotic, & a 1-a-day for men.. I feel great but elimination & some patience with low to Zero Carb has calmed my body down & improved digestion
    Last edited by abc123; 04-07-2012 at 12:19 PM.

  7. #7
    jojohaligo's Avatar
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    My understanding is that getting enough fat can also help with constipation.
    Female, age 51, 5' 9"
    SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
    2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

  8. #8
    zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abc123 View Post
    Great link above here..

    I suffer from forms of this as well.. I've found my digestive system has healed quite well by going almost ZERO Carb, or at most VLC (with exception to a banana for breakfast which seems to set fine with me).. Its not only fructose for me, its Sweet Potatoes, Rice, White Potatoes, pretty much starch in general is not a friend of my guts.. Too much fiber as well simply tears up my stomach, so even even vegetables have to be eaten in moderation..

    So I've played with raising my Fat quite a bit & seeing how I feel.. I eat a lot of red meat, full-fat yogurt, 6 eggs for breakfast, a whole avocado every day, fish of course any other type of protein from clean meats I can find.. I notice virtually ALL bloating, inflammation, skin irritation, allergies, & gassy-ness has disappeared.. My skin looks fantastic.. I feel great, I don't get tired after eating.. For me, its an issue with most carbohydrate in general..

    Most of my research & "cure" has come from IBS research.. My digestive system seems to get aggrevated by carbohydrates.. I eliminate carbs, & my stomach has relaxed & my body looks & feel fantastic.. So, for me it wasn't only about fructose, starch was included in my digestive issues.. Typically one irritant (in your case fructose) could manifest into issues with other types of carbohydrate.. Getting control of this now is key, gotta rebuild & strengthen digestive tract again. I believe, eliminating most carbohydrates in my diet has allowed me to pull in more nutrients & vitamins from other foods that I eat.. Seems the fiber & sugars have wreaked havoc on me for quite some time & has interupted absorption of nutrients coming from foods that go down with the carbs.. High Protein, High Fat has been the ticket to fixing this for me..

    I've also started supplementing with "cod liver oil", a probiotic, & a 1-a-day for men.. I feel great but elimination & some patience with low to Zero Carb has calmed my body down & improved digestion
    I have a similiar experience as this and what seems to work for me aswell is a diet high in veggies and meat, with limited carb sources. However i don't know if i can sustain that because i started experience the fatigue, weakness in legs, low body temperature and no sex drive on the low carbs solution. So i have reintroduced potatoes white and sweet, rice and other safe starches. I feel i don't function fully optimum like this but i suppose it is better than going low carb for me because i do carry that extra energy.

    I use my skin and trips to the toilet as good indicators of my overall health and how my body is feeling.

    How long have you been eating VLC? And do you plan on never reintroducing safe options?

    I want to try and rebuild my gut flora and hopefully be able to introduce some no-no veggies listed on FM forbidden lists.
    Last edited by zizou; 04-07-2012 at 07:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    What about a low fructose smoothie??? (I know you said no smoothies)

    Coconut milk, some almond butter, lots of baby spinach, and some frozen berries. (Whatever amount he is allowed)

    Also, I would start feeding him coconut milk (the nice creamy stuff) as much as he will tolerate it. Chilled it's quite lovely.

    You can also make yogurt out of coconut milk, bypassing the dairy allergy. As for getting more veg into him, that just takes time and Mama cunning. Hide them where ever you can, inside of meat sauces for instance.
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    After a good year and a half or so of eating a VLC diet and pretty much never eating fruit, I recently began to add more carbs back into my diet and realized that I must, at the very least, have a major sensitivity to fructose. A mango had me doubled over and miserable, a small amount of pear caused a similar yet milder reaction. I've steered clear of onions for the most part, but know it when they've been hidden in something I've eaten while away from home. Oddly enough, I do tolerate coconut. I also eat tons of spinach, cucumber, and green beans. Pumpkin has been great to me and I've heard that it helps many with constipation issues (as well as diarrhea issues for others - go figure) Does your son tolerate pumpkin? I'm now working on sweet potatoes, but going slowly. From what I've read, they should only be eaten in limited amounts.

    I'm living on a FODMAPS friendly diet and probably will forever, since no food is worth a re-enactment of the movie Alien within my gut. (I assume you're familiar with FODMAPS because of your research) Fructose definitely isn't the only culprit for me, and I suspect that's the case with the majority of people with FM, but I'm really not sure. Maybe you know the answer to that?!

    Thanks for posting the link - I look forward to checking it out.
    Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

    - Robert Louis Stevenson

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