What is Fructose Malabsorption Disorder?
Fructose Malabsorption Disorder, logically, is the inability to absorb fructose (which is the sugar which occurs naturally in many foods – mostly fruit).
It used to be called Dietary Fructose Intolerance, but that term has been largely abandoned (and smally ~little snicker~ still clung to by people who won’t GET WITH THE PROGRAM – sheesh!). The old term is both illogical (since we CAN “tolerate” fructose once it gets into our system – we just can’t absorb it in the first place) and confusing (since there is a different disease called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance – which is genetic and can give you liver damage that can lead to DEATH! – a condition which has NOTHING to do with our disease – though we’re on similar diets…..
…..and like many of the same movies, and we both gesture enthusiastically in the same way, we both like long walks…~sigh~ …AHEM! Sorry….where was I? DEATH! Yeeeees, DEATH! Very bad. We FructMals don’t die from our disease, but just go to the toilet rather dramatically and then we see no reason to go on living…. for a few days. That brings us to:
What are the Symptoms of Fructose Malabsorption Disorder?
Well, if you eat something containing fructose and you can’t absorb it, it ends up going aaaall the way down to the lower intestine (you didn’t think we were going to get to talk about INTESTINES today, did you? YAY!). The lower intestine is not a place fructose is supposed to be, the bacteria down there are a bit crazy – a bit insane – and giving them fructose… well they never get a treat like that! They go a bit “piranha”, if you get my meaning. They start gobbling it up and they excrete (yes, that means “poo”) hydrogen gas (or – if your a rare one – methane). As a result, said FructMal sufferer gets bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, excessive gas! Hoorah! um…..except ME of course! ~heh, heh~ I just have to…uumm…. demurely visit the loo OCCASSIONALLY…and it’s NEVER an…emergency or anything. ~awkward silence~
LATER….Much Later…. day or so… well that’s when the second whammy hits. You see, everyone needs a little gem called “tryptophan”. There is a common misconception that the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy. Actually, it’s the incredible energy you expend eating all that Thanksgiving dinner without shrieking obscenities at your relatives that tires you out. Tryptophan is actually a valuable, nay, “essential” amino acid that your body NEEDS (hence the “essential” thing) to function. Specifically, your body uses tryptophan to make serotonin! That’s right! Everyone’s favourite neurotransmitter, because it makes you HAPPY!
okay…it doesn’t make you happy. It contributes to …not being depressed?
The data? Blood levels of serotonin are markedly lower in those suffering from depression.
………………..trytophan is also made into MELATONIN! That NOBODY’S HEARD OF! YAY! It makes you SLEEPY when it’s DARK! Yahoo!..Well…. actually the inability to sleep IS depressing so… don’t “diss*” the Melatonin.
So why are we talking about tryptophan? Because, if fructose manages to make it to the lower intestine piranha party, it BONDS with whatever tryptophan is present and renders it also UNABSORBABLE! ..INabsorbable! NOT absorbable! Whatever! You POO IT OUT, okay? Sooo….
No tryptophan, no serotonin, no melatonin, equals miserable, horrible, angry, weepy, depressed, laconic, and thoroughly vicious FructMal sufferer. For a couple days. Then it goes away…..IF :
IF, IF, if you STOP consuming fructose!
So What’s Got Fructose?
Here’s the deal; wanna play it safe? Stay away from fructose (duh!), because… ahem, did you READ the first part of the page? That’s fructose itself (in processed food) as well as fruit, fruit juice, jam, etc. Remember, HFCS is an abbreviation for High FRUCTOSE Corn Syrup. Fructose = BAD.
Stay away from fructans, too. They are just as bad if not worse! Those are chains of fructose molecules ending in a glucose molecule. They come in different chain lengths, some make a nice choker, some are long and, like, you can TOTALLY do the, like, bellychain thing? And um, like, you can do, like, really short chain earrings ‘n’ junk!…AHEM! ~sorry~ chains! Tolerance for chain length can vary, but across the board avoid wheat, spelt, kamut, onions, spring onions, leeks, …all the onion stuff basically… the biggies for veg are asparagus and artichoke. Also stay away from brown rice! White rice is okay, but the husk part has fructans. So it’s happened! Finally a diet that says the weird hippy-wholegrain crap is BAD! Yah Baby!
The piranha party can only get worse if you invite more piranhas, right? So nothing with MORE bacterial cultures! That’s just more piranhas! So nothing like yoghurt. “Probiotic” is the fancy word right now for active bacterial cultures AKA piranhas! Of course, if you are REALLY good about eating NOTHING with fructose or fructans, you don’t care how many piranhas are down there because you’re not sending them any treats – but why take a chance? Wheat, onions, and fruit products are hidden in places you don’t suspect! Be on Guard! Touche!
Also, don’t go feeding the piranhas any super food! Stuff that has been found to be “superduperfood” for bacteria is called “prebiotic”. A lot of yoghurt nowadays has probiotics (bacteria) and prebiotics (superfood for the bacteria to feed on). This, for FructMals, is HELL IN A PLASTIC CUP!!! Begone DEVIL!!! Also beware of “Inulin” AKA “FOS” AKA “fructo-oligosaccharides” AKA “chickory”. This product is SUPER-prebiotic! It will turn your piranhas into Incredible Hulk Piranhas!
What’s okay, but might not seem okay? Rye Flour is totally cool – so is oats and buckwheat (because it’s not really wheat) – it’s just riding wheat’s coattails and TOTALLY mooching off that poor grain. Wheat should NOT stand for that! I would just say, y’know, buckwheat? What’s your deal? You can make it on your own merits! I mean that! You are an AWESOME grain! …
Where was I?
Meat? Eat as much as you want….. if you want to die of a heart attack. I mean, use common sense, right? But the whole fructose thing…. meat’s cool. Potatoes? Mixed info. Some say some are bad, some say all are good. Gotta experiment for yourself.
Any Tips or Tricks?
Look for foods that say “Gluten-Free” or that they’re suitable for Celiac’s Disease. Our problem isn’t gluten, but it’ll mean the product is wheat-free and it’s a good start. You’ll still have to read the label looking for fruit, brown rice, spelt, blah, blah, blah, but….. good start.
What else? Use gluten-free or wheat-free as a search term on the internet. The gluten-free brigade has their PR going full steam and there’s lots of great recipes! We really need to up our game in the PR department, FructMals!!!
Dextrose (AKA Corn Sugar AKA glucose), if consumed at the same time as fructose, in an equal or greater quantity, can bond with the fructose and allow it to absorb BEFORE it reaches the piranhas! We like dextrose/glucose! Get a bag from the health food shop and keep a bottle of the powder with you to add to coffee or tea or whatnot if you are going to a restaurant or something and you’re not sure of the ingredients. DEXTROSE WILL NOT HELP YOU WITH FRUCTANS!! Only with fructose. This is handy to know when you are reading ingredient labels in the grocery store! Remember gang, ingredients are listed in order of amount – so if it’s first on the list, there’s lots – if it’s farther down the list there’s only a little. If your favourite food has dextrose or dextrose syrup or glucose or glucose syrup close to the top of the list and fructose waaaaaaay down near the bottom…..and there’s NOTHING ELSE that might give you a problem, you can probably handle that food. Mind you, this trick only works in small doses – so itty-bitty- dainty bites, okay?
Hope that’s given you all you’d like to know! Spread the word, because there’s precious little info around – and most of it’s rumour and misinformation and …well….crap.
*= Please Note: I have no Idea if that is how “diss” is spelled. ~sigh~ I am SO not cool or hip or whatever.