What is Fructose Malabsorption Disorder?

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~

..~Well!~..

….So!….ummm……yes.

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.

Nuff said!

………………..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.

Okay… “poo”.

:)

AVT

*= Please Note: I have no Idea if that is how “diss” is spelled. ~sigh~ I am SO not cool or hip or whatever.

224 responses to “What is Fructose Malabsorption Disorder?

  1. Only you could make me laugh at this. Loved it.

  2. ROFL!!
    We are intelligent, AND funny!! Not fair really, since we are also breathtakingly attractive, adept at witty and topical reparte, and heal the sick..Ta DAH!
    Thank goodness we both have blogs, to share ourselves with the WORLD!!
    ~~teehee~~
    Thanks! :)
    AVT
    ………I think I’ve been watching too much Eddie Izzard on YouTube.

  3. Brilliant! who’d have thought our mutual fructmal condition could be so *dang* funny. Is it ok that I link to your site. It is too brill…

    Keep up all the good work girl. Ac

  4. Why thank you, Ms. Eagle!

    Go right ahead! I can’t really harp about lack of PR if I don’t greenlight takin’ some action, now can I?
    I’m flattered and tickled!

    Though if you’re tickling me, I get to call you Acoustic! :)

    AVT

  5. Hey guys,
    I found a miracle, its called BEANO, my gastroenterologist recommended after I was diagnosed. It is an enzyme replacement and its been absolutely fantastic. I’ve been taking it for 2 years and I am completely symptom free and I can eat anything I want. You can get it in all drug stores. Here is the website for BEANO http://www.beanogas.com/
    ENJOY,
    Stephanie

  6. Hello, Stephanie! I’m glad you found something that worked for you! Evidently you either have an additional condition complicating your Fructose Malabsorption Disorder, or you have an intolerance for a *di-saccharide*.

    “Beano” is an enzyme (specifically alpha-galactosidase). An enzyme breaks apart di-saccharides (like lactose for example) into their component mono-saccharides for digestion. If you have a problem with di-saccharides, something like Beano may work for you!

    Fructose, however, cannot be “broken down” by an enzyme like Beano, because it is *already* a mono-saccharide.

    Congrats on finding something that works for you! That’s wonderful! One day, there will be something for all of us, I’m certain!
    :)
    AVT

  7. It’s interesting how you’ve concentrated on depression, **melAtonin**…

    I was thinking to contact you, since I have a “short” questionaire about irritant foods and so. I’m trying to make an usefull list of foods to try and to avoid (click my name) – just for fructmal newbies…

  8. LOL!!! Thanks for the heads-up on the typo! Now corrected!

    I visited your site and it’s really great! Perhaps we can trade links… I have a site devoted to fructmal (fructmal.googlepages.com) and it is already outgrowing googlepages.

    Your foodlist is interesting. Nuts being an issue is totally new to me. I have never had an issue with any of them and it has not come up (to my knowledge) on the fructmal discussion board I’m on. One of the frustrating things about this ailment is that the research is so spotty and inconsistant.
    I HAD heard that white grape juice and pomegranate juice were supposed to be “favourable”. Not for me. Not even a tablespoon every two days. EEEEEeevil!

    Also, I have never heard anything about stevia being an issue. We definitely need to email!
    Please email me at fructmal@gmail.com. In turn, I will look for an email address on your site. :)
    AVT
    ………….sometimes people’s email filters send gmail stuff to the spam file, so if you don’t hear from me, check there!

  9. I’m new to this site and was really interested in the “thought it was celiac” because my mom has it and that’s what I swore I had, but testing was neg. and nowthe GI just did the Fructose tolerace test. But what is the difference between fructose intolerance and fructose malabsorbtion? How do you find out?

  10. Hi, Alli!

    Currently there is a real issue with confusing terminology in the Fructmal world!

    Basically, there are two conditions: one is called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance, or HFI. This is a genetic disease which is VERY serious. A person with HFI must consume basically ZERO fructose, as they are unable to process fructose at all. They are “intolerant” in the medical sense of the word. HFI can result in organ damage or death.
    The other condition is not so serious. It is the condition I have. Outside of North America it is most often referred to as Fructose Malabsorption Disorder, however in Canada and the US it is often known as Dietary Fructose Intolerance or DFI. Those of us within the Fructmal world are sort of campaigning to get everyone on board with the Fructose Malabsorption term.
    It is the prevailing term around the world, and the DFI label is both confusing (because it is SO similar to the HFI label) and it is actually medically inaccurate.
    Those of us with this condition have a very difficult time getting fructose to absorb. That is, it stubbornly refuses to move through the wall of the intestine into the bloodstream.
    Once it is IN the bloodstream, our bodies deal with it perfectly well – that’s why medically our condition is not an “intolerance” but a “malabsorption”.

    In order for you to determine properly if you have Fructose Malabsorption (or as it is stubbornly still called by many: DFI) a GI needs to give you a Hydrogen Breath Test. If this turns out negative, have a Methane Breath Test done – some Fructmals exhale methane rather than hydrogen – and some exhale a mixture. Some GI’s test for both gases at the same time.

    Let me know how it turns out! :)
    AVT

  11. Hi again- well I guess I’m Joining the “club”. The test was positive – they just said the message from the doctor was go on a strict fructose and sucrose free diet and now I’m really confused- why sucrose too? what will I eat? what do I do now?!

  12. Hello, again!

    Okay – wait – sucrose? That’s a little hardcore.

    Just to confirm, your Gi doct says you have fructose malabsorption (dietary fructose intolerance), yes?

    I think I know why he is asking you to stay away from sucrose, but if you have fructmal – it’s really only necessary to watch that you don’t go overboard with it.

    Fructose is a mono-saccharide. That is, it is a sugar comprised of only one molecule. It cannot be broken down or broken up because it is a single molecule. Other mono-saccharides include galactose (found in milk), and glucose (also known as dextrose) which is the form sugar takes in your body.

    Sucrose (like table sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar, etc) is a di-saccharide. A di-saccharide is a sugar which is made up of two molecules – one each of two different mono-saccharides.
    For example, lactose is a di-saccharide. It is made of one molecule of galactose and one molecule of glucose.
    Sucrose is one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose. Yes, fructose. ~sigh~

    Don’t get too worried, though. A tried and true “trick” of Fructmals is that we know that one molecule of glucose (dextrose) HELPS US ABSORB one molecule of fructose. For some reason, glucose takes fructose by the hand and carries it through the intestinal wall – assisting absorption.

    For this reason, we usually carry dextrose/glucose powder or tablets around with us. I have a tube of Dex4 tablets and a roll of Dextrosol tablets in my purse. In Canada we have a candy called Rockets
    http://tinyurl.com/6eo4vz
    that are almost pure dextrose. In America the same candies are called Smarties. Many of us use these candies in a pinch.

    This trick only works in SMALL doses. For emergencies. When you just realized you accidentally had some fructose. Pop some dextrose tablets and you probably won’t have a reaction (provided the accidental dose was small. You CANNOT have a couple of tablets and then go….eat a slice of apple pie. Too much fructose. No amount of dextrose/glucose will help you).

    So you see, your doc was probably warning you off of sucrose because it does have fructose in it – but knowing the glucose trick as we do (shares a *wink*), we know that since sucrose has fructose AND glucose it has it’s own little “dextrose tablet” built in! YAY! Just keep the doses small.

    I have a teaspoon of turbinado sugar in my tea (about six cups spaced throughout the day) and have no problem, though amount REALLY varies from person to person.

    The question is, did he warn you that there is fructose in wheat, spelt, onion, asparagus, and artichokes? A lot of North American doctors don’t realize this because the fructose in these foods is in the form of *fructans* – that is, chains of fructose molecules ending in a glucose molecule. And the dextrose/glucose trick DOESN’T WORK for fructans. If you look up wheat on a nutrition chart is says “Fructose=ZERO”, but that’s because the charts don’t count fructan chains as fructose.

    Your body does though. EEEEvvvil wheat and spelt and onions! Trust me. I was off fruit religiously for 15 years, but never got real relief until I found out about fructans and got rid of them too!

    Check out my fructmal website:

    http://fructmal.googlepages.com

    I will soon (hopefully in about a week) be graduating to a bigger, better, website with my own domain name – but the info up on my googlepages might help you.

    Keep in touch!
    AVT

  13. Hey there-well I haven’t starved to death yet, but tell me what do you eat! and I am getting a wicked headache every evening- it’s like my body is begging meto give it a sugar high- please tell me this will go away! Other than that-OMG I feel so——–much better! I really miss tomatoes though and there is NO way to substitute anything else!
    I called my GI doc’s office and my regular doc and well they are just no help. My regualrdoc said “wow, that really stinks, that’s a tough diet”.
    Oh here’s my other question- do you take vitamins or anything?
    I really appreciate your help it has truly saved me from starving to death! Talk to you soon!
    Alli

  14. Hi there!

    Well, I am right at this moment sitting in a restaurant typing my response on my mini-laptop (the restaurant has wifi).

    I am having coffee with milk and sugar, a bacon and cheddar omlette with panfries and sliced tomatoes (I actually have no issue with tomato).

    Later I might be meeting my sister for sushi! BC roll is my fave – sushi made with grilled salmon!

    It is a GORGEOUS sunny day, and I’m debating whether I will celebrate the waning summer by getting a cup of ice cream at the candy shop down the street (they offer little plastic cups for those who don’t want a cone).

    Remember, sucrose is moderation shouldn’t be an issue (unless you have another condition complicating your fructmal). Chocolate, cheesecake without the crust, ice cream, should all be fine in moderation.
    I live in Canada, and there is a pop (soft drink) call Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale which is DELICIOUS and givesme not reaction.
    Also keep in mind that dextrose(glucose) will give you NO reaction at all – totally safe. If you want to try baking with it, many health food stores stock bags of powdered dextrose – or you can order it online. It does give a sort of “dry mouth” effect, though – you’ll ned to experiment.

    When I relaunch the new and improved fructmal site, I should devote a section to “typical days of eating”, maybe.
    In the meantime, faves in my house:
    shepard’s pie
    omlettes
    steak and baked potatoes with sauteed veg
    stuffed green peppers
    rice and chili con carne
    potatoes au gratin
    irish stew

    Keep in Touch!
    AVT

  15. Hi, my one yr old baby has just been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and I’ve just jumped on the net to “learn up” what he can eat and why we’ve not slept for a whole year! Your info has been brilliant, far more comprehensive than any other website. Thank you so much, and keep it up.

    From Clare in Australia!

    • Hello Clare does your child have a developmental delay because of the fructose intolerance? Is he sleeping better?

      R. Terry, mother of a 4 year old with suspected fructose malabsorption

  16. Thanks so much, Clare!

    I’m so sorry that your baby and family are going through this – but glad you are networking with those of us online!! Knowing there are others out there is great, isn’t it?

    My fructmal googlepages site should be getting a MAJOR rehaul, though it’s been delayed by me getting sick as a dog recently! ~sigh!~ Some kind of flu going around.
    I hope to bring in more research sites, articles and a proper recipe section.

    Stay in touch!
    AVT

  17. hi, I was interested in Clare and her baby – we have a 1 year old that i think may have fructose malabsorption….. i was convinced he had celiac (dropping weight and height, anaemic and really gross stools…. loose and greenish…sorry!) anyway, blood test showed he is not celiac so i have been hunting while we wait to see our paeditrition. Our son does NOT SLEEP!!! could this be connected? how did you get your diagnosis? I would love any advice, thanks loads, sarah. (UK)

  18. Hello Sarah!

    I’m so sorry your little one is having troubles. The diagnosis for fructmal is a hydrogen breath test… although some fructmals exhale methane rather than hydrogen, so if the hydrogen breath test is negative you still may have fructmal… a methane breath test would then be needed.

    You’ll have to talk to a pediatrician or a pediatric GI…if there is such a thing! I don’t know if these breath tests can be administered to the wee ones.

    In the meantime, eliminating all fruit and all wheat may help… but you must proceed with total co-operation with a doctor. When little ones are involved it’s a big deal – as you know doubt know already! A one year old that is dropping weight is VERY serious. Calories are vital!

    Apply for membership in this group:
    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/fructose_malabsorption_australia/

    It doesn’t matter if you don’t live in Australia. Many of the members have fructmal little ones.
    If you aren’t accepted (the mod is terrific, but she’s been overwhelmed with applications now that fructmal is getting known and this is the best group I’ve found), post another comment here on my blog and I’ll try and get you some email addresses from some of the mommy-members. Sharing with those who know is really important!

    Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

    AVT

    PS… as to the sleeping… YES. It could very much be related. When fructmals ingest fructose, it ends up rendering tryptophan inabsorbable as well by bonding to it in the lower intestine. Fructmals therefore have low tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is needed by the body to produced serotonin (a mood stabiliser – women going through PMS depression are low in serotonin) and MELOTONIN which is what signals your body to go into sleep mode when it get dark.
    Fructmals who consume fructose therefore experience depression, mood swings, and sleep disturbances or insomnia.
    Go to my fructmal website here:
    http://fructmal.googlepages.com

    Go the the Research page and check out the links for “Fructose- and sorbitol-reduced diet improves mood and gastrointestinal disturbances in fructose malabsorbers” and “Fructose malabsorption is associated with early signs of mental depression” for the actual scientific stuff.

  19. Daughter 17 has severe fructose malabsorption and is getting really depressed. Are you taking any supplements?

  20. Glad to cyber-meet you, Vickie!
    I’m sorry to hear about your 17 year old, though wish it hadn’t taken me so much of my life to figure out what was wrong!

    I take a nice assortment of general vitamins plus a Vitamin C pill. I avoid the grocery store brands that are fruity and chewable. I get my Vitamin C from the health food store. Talk to the staff and find out if you can get Vitamin C sourced from a source other than fruit (like seaweed).

    Fructmals who consume fructose OR FRUCTANS will experience depression. That’s because in fructmals, fructose is not absorbed and therefore makes it all the way to the lower intestine. Fructose in the lower intestine is not good! It ends up bonding with whatever tryptophan is there.
    This stops the tryptophan from being absorbed and then the fructmal’s body has no raw material for the manufacture of melotonin (for sleep) and SEROTONIN which is a “feel-good” neuro-transmitter. Without serotonin, you are biologically incapable of being happy for any length of time. I know I’ve mentioned the fructmal issue with tryptophan absorption before in my responses to other questions, but it really is a biggie! It’s also something that North American doctors and recommended diets really don’t acknowledge enough. It’s huge!

    Is your daughter off ALL fruit products? ALL wheat, spelt and kamut? ALL members of the onion family? Other very important things to avoid are Brown Rice, Green and Yellow Beans, Artichokes, and Asparagus. Some fructmals react to some potatoes and many are sensitive to corn and carrots. Don’t worry right now about potatoes, corn and carrots, though.
    The other things I have mentioned are VITAL, even for me and I’m not “severe”.
    Fruit and fruit products ALL contain fructose, but many don’t realize that the other foods I’ve mentioned contain fructans. Fructans are chains of fructose molecules ending in a glucose molecule. They are just as bad as fructose, but often have a delayed reaction (usually several days), so people don’t “connect” the reaction to the food. You have to avoid these fructan containing foods for at least 6 weeks to truly achieve relief.

    Although, I have to say, after two weeks off fructans I woke up one morning and it was like ….. like a I’d been stuck in a dark, grey, cold winter for years and had awakened to a beautiful, sunny spring day! I could not believe the difference. As the weeks went on, I felt better and better. Now, the GI symptoms are one ting, but if diarrhea was the only penalty for eating cake I’d probably be tempted. But no cake is delicious enough for me to be willing to go through my old depression again – not even for a few days. Now that I know what it’s like to feel …well, normal! I don’t burst into tears doing the dishes anymore as I think about how useless and pathetic washing the dishes is…… yah – not goin’ back to that.

    If she is avoiding all these foods already – make sure she’s eating enough poultry. Just about all meats have tryptophan, but apparently poultry has more (or so I understand). She needs to bring her tryptophan levels up so her body can make enough serotonin.
    I know you’ve probably seen eveery doctor around, I know my Mum took me everywhere and was told it was “teen angst” and other such nonsense. Not to mention all the doctors who are all too eager to give you prescriptions for drugs without really investigating WHY you’re depressed…. but you really need to keep the faith and try and find a doctor to work with. Depression and dietary problems can snowball and become life threatening issues – especially for young people!

    What is she eating right now? How was she diagnosed? What’s your family’s story?

    Please keep in touch,
    AT

  21. Hi AVT!

    Like every one I’d like to thank you so much for putting all this info out there for fructmals. I’m fructmal and lactose intolerant. I seem to be on the severe end of fructmal which I bet is probably complicated by the LI.

    I’ve tried many diets but while the LI is easy to manage the fructmal is driving me nuts as I can’t seem to digest anything!! I guess I’m going through a lot of trial and ERROR…manily error it seems.

    I was just wondering if in your experience fructmals can experience tailspin episodes which last for weeks if even 1 thing in the diet isn’t right although they are being very careful and restrictive?

    Once again thank you so much for being online and upbeat. It really helps!

    Sonia.

    • Hi, I’m the same. What complicates ir with me is that I’m also vegetarian and allergic to eggs. It’s hard. Hard cheeses seem to be ok with me, but soft is no go zone. I hope by now (3 years on) that you are ok and have no symptoms now
      All the best,
      Sally.

  22. Hello Sonia!

    Yes, fructmal is notorious for having lingering reactions. I, for example, have very prolonged reactions to fructans, so when I eat something like wheat, I get GI symptoms for 3 or 4 days, then depression, irritability, and sleep problems for over a week. If the trouble continues longer than that, then there is something you’re eating on a semi-regular basis that you shouldn’t be eating.

    Let’s run the list:

    For sure, avoid:
    All fruit and fructose
    Wheat, spelt, kamut, brown rice
    All of the onion family
    Asparasus, artichoke, green and yellow beans
    Anything probiotic (like yoghurt)
    Anything prebiotic (like FOS, or chicory)
    The “-itols” (like sorbitol, maltitol, etc)

    GREATLY reduce your intake of sucrose, honey, molassas, etc

    THEN,

    If you still have symptoms after 6 weeks,
    eliminate:
    corn and tomatoes
    rye and oats
    all nuts
    all honey (the ratio of fructose to glucose is not consistant in honey, as it is in sucrose)

    If, after several weeks you still have trouble, try eliminating all potatoes. Not a lot of frutmals have trouble with potatoes, but some do.

    Remember, these eliminations are NOT PERMANENT. You’re basically giving your body a rest. Every fructmal has their own unique “forbidden”, “occassion” and “okay”
    list – we’re all different. The idea is that you get rid of everything that might be causing a problem, and then after 6 weeks of rest, you bring the foods back, in VERY SMALL DOSES one food at a time. Give yourself a week or so after introducing a new food as many have – as I mentioned – delayed reactions. Also, different varieties of veg or potatoes or fruit have different fructose/fructan amounts. Also commercial freezing (not home freezing) changes fructose levels, as does cooking.

    Some fructmals find they can have the occassional strawberry, as long as it was commercially frozen – some can have one or two kinds of potatoes but not the others.

    Be methodical, and don’t start new foods until you have brought yourself to a “rest point” where you know you’re clear, otherwise trying to connect food to response will be confusing and frustrating.

    Tell me how it goes, and post any questions!
    :)
    Ariana

  23. Hi Ariana,

    That’s great advice! I’ll let you know how I get on. Thank you for all the details and tips.

    I was wondering if you have noticed any improvements if you have taken zinc or folic acid supplements?

    Many Thanks,

    Sonia.

  24. Awesome post, thanks very much :) I had just read a formal research paper that included much of the same information, yours was much more fun to read!

    Ever heard of having problems with garlic?? I seem to be very intolerant to it :(

  25. Hi – I’ve just today been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and don’t know whether to be happy or sad. I’m happy to have a name for my condition after months of feeling absolutely awful, losing 12kgs in weight and of course the bowel problems. Be careful what you wish for comes to mind as I have been heard to say on many an occasion that I don’t care what is wrong with me I just want a name for it!! I have found all the above comments very, very helpful but still not sure what I should eat. Next week is the lactose breath test and I shall just pray I’m not lactose intolerant as well. It all makes a bit of sense now as I adore raspberries and mangoes, fruit mince tarts, christmas pudding and cake etc. Think they are things of the past now. So dinner tonight will be white rice and chicken breasts I think. Keep up the good work it is so helpful to know someone is “ahaed” of you in this game. Sandi

  26. Glad to hear from you, Linda!
    Also glad you got a giggle from the post! LOL! Gotta have a sense of humour, right?

    As to garlic, it is a member of the onion family. All onions have fructan chains – so fructmals do react. As with all things in the fructmal universe, each person’s degree of sensitivity is specific to them. I’m okay with garlic and marginally tolerant of the green parts of onions (chives, for example, or the green part of green onions – but not the white bulb part).

    Most fructmals are okay with onions being used to flavour soups and stews – but cannot eat the flesh itself. Try cutting your onions into big chunks, and as for garlic, just peel it and crush the clove a little with the side of your knife – just enough to tear it a little. Then put your onion and garlic in a cheesecloth bag tied with cotton string. This can go into your soup, stew, or spaghetti sauce, then be removed before serving. :)
    AVT

  27. Hello Sandi! I understand your mixed feelings.

    My Nov 30th response to Sonia (see above) is a general guide for giving your body a rest from possible trouble foods. Feel free to post any questions about clarifications!

    I’m sending you my positive energy, and hopefully you won’t turn out to by LI ! LOL!!
    I’ve got to tell you though, it is a VERY common combo! Lots of fructmals are LI.
    You are not alone! :)
    AVT

    ………….by the way, chicken and white rice are TOTALLY fine!

  28. Hello again Sonia!
    There is folic acid and zinc in my multi-vit, but I don’t take folic acid or zinc pills.

    I eat red meat, liver pate, and lots of beans/lentils so I’ve always figured that was good enough!
    :)
    AVT

  29. This is a really helpful site! I’ve known I have fructose malabsorption for awhile and have done some modifications. I just found out about fructans, and I’m having a HORRIBLE time trying to not eat wheat. Any advice? I like to cook and bake, but nonwheat baking looks so complicated, and it seems people don’t get very good results.

    If I had one reliable bread recipe (doesn’t even have to be yeast bread, just something for sandwiches, toast, etc.) I might be able to give it a go. I fashioned some decent oat flour/flax seed muffins.

    Also, I’ve tried dextrose with fruit, and it doesn’t seem to work all that well for me. Should I just stay off fruit entirely for awhile and try again?

    I stayed off wheat for three days a few weeks ago, and I noticed a big difference in mood. (I take medication for depression).

    Thanks!

  30. Hi, love your site! Question, you say ‘no fruit’ but what about bananas? Most of the fructmal lit says ‘ripe bananas’ ok, I like them a little green and it seems to work for me. Erica

  31. I need help, please!!! My daughter has been violent since one. I think she may have fructose malapsorbtion problems. Please, let me know if I am at the right place?

    • I knowit’s been two years since you posted this, but just in case you are still looking for answers…YES!!! My daughter was regularly doing what I called “random acts of violence” and the worse her sleep interruptions/night terrors were at night, the more I noticed this behavior during the day. After a long search for answers we discovered fructose malabsorption, had her tested and alas, she has it. Once we eliminated the fructose, the violence ended. Turns out she is pretty sweet. :)

  32. Welcome KK!

    Well, I’m afraid to truly get relief you need to give your body a TOTAL rest! That means ALL fruit, ALL wheat/spelt/kamut, ALL the bad stuff for 4 to 6 weeks.
    Trust me, you have no idea what “good” feels like until you have done this.

    I don’t know where you live, but here in British Columbia I have access to some great wheat/spelt/kamut-free breads (brands like kinnikinnik and glutino) as well as great mixes (like red mill and celimix).
    I would suggest you start with a boxed mix, just so you get a feel for what the dough is supposed to smell like, feel like, etc. It’s very different.
    For example, the Celimix mix for hamburger buns is really good, but it’s like pancake batter. You need to use some sort of hamburger-bun-sized mold to pour into. It comes out a little like bread crossed with sponge-cake!
    Most wheat/spelt/kamut-free bread is sold frozen, and you must keep it frozen. When you make a sandwich, pull out two frozen slices and pop them into the toaster (like making pop-tarts).
    I have never baked bread, but all the “buzz” from the bakers is that if you can, opt for buns rather than bread – for it’s very difficult to make bread come out well.
    Keep us posted as to your baking adventures!

    As far as fruit…. you MUST MUST eliminate ALL fruit for the 4 to 6 weeks rest period – really. After this period of rest is over, you may tolerate fruit that you couldn’t before. I know many people figure they can just skip the 4 to 6 week “off everything” period, but it really is necessary. It’s sort of like hitting the reset button on your symptoms. You’ll find you tolerate more foods after this period than if you skipped it….that was my experience, anyway.

    Dextrose helps is SMALL doses, for small amounts of exposure to fructose (not fructans). What’s a small dose? Everyone’s different. Every fructmal has their own “forbidden” “occasionally” and “okay” list that is unique to them.
    For some fructmals, two commercially frozen strawberries (not home-frozen) is a “small” dose. For me, a slice of ONE strawberry is a small to medium dose. If I have a forkful of salad and then find out the dressing is “raspberry vinegrette”, I need two dextrose tablets immediately – and that MAY not eliminate the symptoms, it may just tone them down.
    However, I have no reactions at all the green parts of onions – only the bulbs – and most fructmals react strongly to any onion content.
    Everyone’s different.

    I hope to hear from you again! :)
    AVT

  33. Hi Erica!

    If bananas are okay for you, go for it! Everyone is different. Trust your body.

    Just remember that most fructmals have immediate reactions to some things and delayed reactions to others – sometimes delayed for several days. This can make pinpointing cause to effect difficult.
    :)
    AVT

  34. My goodness, Denise!
    I hope you have many people around you to support you.

    Do you mean she has been violently sick (like dramatic diarrhea, mood swings, inability to sleep, vomiting), or do you mean she is actually *violent* (hitting, kicking, etc)???

    What does you pediatrician say? The wee ones must have a doctor’s guidance when they’re not well. It may be difficult to find one you trust, but you must be diligent.
    When little ones are very sick, they are not putting on the weight they need to be healthy, and it’s difficult to restrict their diet without depriving them of much needed nutrition.

    Is she ill or is she hurting people?
    Do you have a doctor?

    AVT

  35. You described my daughter. She developed a fructose intolerance about 2 years ago. Of course we had no idea…..poor kid…..was in the bathroom alot!! We got no help from the doctors. I turned to the internet!!

    She went on an elimination diet, ruled out Lactose intolerance. Then discovered it was Fructose.

    She is 16 and could barely eat anything. I did lots of research and found a workable solution for her. Not a cure, but she can eat more things a teenager normally does.

    Before she eats anything now she takes a Digestive Enzyme (Ensymedica Digest Gold). This has been a lifesaver. Now she can eat some fruit, cookies, high end chocolate (they use sugar) and even have cane sugar soda.

    Her biggest treat is pizza, she can eat it again. She’s eating salad too.

    Our big challenge is eating out. Forget the fast food chains – HFCS everywhere. We did find Panara Bread, she can have about 5 of their sandwiches.

    She still stays away from Corn Syrup and HFCS. She also keeps her consumption of fruit and sugars to a safe level. We read all food labels and I make alot of food, including bread from scratch.

    I don’t know if Digestive Enzymes will work for anyone else, but I wanted to pass on what is helping my daughter. Thanks for a good column.

  36. I forget to mention this in my previous comment. My daughter just realized toothpaste was making her stomach go ballistic.

    She still has stomach problems from time to time and she is having a devil of a time figuring out what she ate to cause it.

    We didn’t realize that her toothpaste has Sorbital in it. They only list the active ingredients. I called the major toothpaste companies, some are more helpful than others. I found two that don’t have Sorbital. Toms of Maine kids toothpaste “Silly Strawberry” and Arm and Hammer “Peroxicare”.

    Hope this may help someone.

    • Hi, my daughter was diagnosed at age 5 w/fructose malabsorption fro hydrogen breat test. Our concern is she feels like crap almost everyday. They found a cyst on her liver at age 4 when we had ultrasound done to find out why she has tummy aches daily and weight loss. This is just very frustrating.
      Jen McEwen

  37. AVT. My child is so fine, until she eats fructose. Then she looks bi-polar. I am not sure if anyone else has this problem. Is my child the only one that reacts like this?

    • Hi Denise,

      I just found this message board. My daughter was diagnose as Bipolar and she and our family have gone thru h*ll for years. I researched a lot, suggest to psych dr., endo, etc., thst it could be HFI and was poo-poohed! My daughter has been on an HFI diet for 3 weeks and has had dramatic improvements. We started the diet on our own in order to see what would happen. Our story is so long! I would love to hear from you.

      • Hello Janice!

        Sorry about how long it has taken me to get back online! :(

        How old is your daughter? HFI or Hereditary Fructose Intolerance is a serious genetic disorder which – if the subject consumes fructose – can over time cause organ damage and death. If she is over five or six, it probably isn’t HFI or she’d be at death’s door – or so is my understanding. I’m not a doctor of ANY kind and I do not know much about HFI.

        She may, however, have Fructose Malabsorption. This is NOT genetic and will not cause death. This is what I have. Fructmal is also known (primarily in the US) as DFI or Dietary Fructose Intolerance. Many of us in the Fructmal community worldwide are actively trying to push the consistant use of the term “Fructose Malabsorption” and to abandon the DFI term. Our ailment is, from the viewpoint of medical terminology, NOT and “intolerance”. Fructmals tolerate fructose just fine once it is in our bloodstream. We do however have difficultly getting the fructose we eat to absorb into the bloodstream. It is therefore more ACCURATELY termed a “malabsorption”.
        We also want to abandon the DFI term because it is so similar to the HFI term it can cause confusion.

        That said, because HFI is a deathly disease, the strictures for an HFI diet are far more extreme than a Fructmal eating plan. After all, our life isn’t on the line! An HFI diet is fine for a fructmal – it’s just more restrictive than necessary.
        I’m glad she has seen improvements and would love to here from you now that I’m able to be online more!
        :)
        AT

  38. BTW…. My doctor said he has never seen the fructose- course so quickly through a body as my daughters, when he did test. He put her on a medication to kill bad bacteria and then said to do a probiotic. Does this sound right? I think I read on your blog that probiotic is bad.

  39. ONe last comment… I promise! Where the heck do I get a food list of things she *CAN* eat???? I have been searching and searching.

  40. I lied…
    I have another question: Is mik or cheerios a problem for people that can’t handle fructose?

  41. Hi!
    I spent about six years trying to figure out why I was feeling sick and tired all the time…and last year I found out that I had fructose malabsorption. Since then I have been avoiding fructose – but I had no idea about fructans…this is a big surprise for me. Unfortunately I am also lactose intolerant :( Right now I am very happy to have found out why I continue not to feel 100% but I also feel discouraged because of the huge percentage of food that I can no longer eat!
    If anyone has recipes – wheat free, fructose/fructan free I would be so greatful for the help!
    This site was SO exciting for me to find!

  42. Hi. I’m new. I’ve just been diagnosed with the fructmal problem, but I’m missing what seems to be one major symptom. I do not get diariah (sp?), I get constipated??? Could this mean a misdiagnosis or do others have this issue. Also, I hate to bring this up because I haven’t seen anybody else bring it up, but I seem to get an odor or poo, probably from my breath and body. Does anybody else get this and will it go away if I strictly follow the diet? This is new to me and I’m full of questions, but this site has been VERY helpful. Thank you, everybody! Wendy

    • I get constipation too. It’s been a big problem in my life since I was five. I also get the odor issue. Strictly follow yhe diet and it will go away. If it doesn’t, talk to your dentist about peiodontal disease. Hope this helps.

  43. Thanks for the detailed answers! I keep having to start from Square 1 because I fall off the wheat wagon. I suck.

    I live in a large city in Wisconsin, so I have access to stores like Whole Foods, etc that have a wide selection of gluten-free stuff and bulk items like quinoa and millet.

    During the 6-8 week “washout” period, should I avoid all vegetables too?

    I’d love to know about Cheerios too. I know they have wheat starch in them. One of my biggest annoyances is dry cereal! I love the stuff, but it seems either it has wheat, or if wheat-free, it’s sweetened with fruit juice concentrate.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Kathy

  44. Hi,

    Your site has been of great help to me (both your blog and fructmal pages). Keep on posting! Your information helped me to have the courage to override my incompetent doctor and make the appointment for the tests myself. Even with the results in black and white from a leading hospital this dude still refuses to believe this could be a problem. So far me and my medical knowledge being right – 2, my doctor – 0. He keeps sending me for tests I don’t think I need, and lo and behold, they come back negative. When I send myself on referrals to specialists (I have other health problems), I come back with positives or other answers – I knew I should have gone to medical school! He, on the other hand, does everything short of a pat on the head and “there, there dear” since it is pretty clear that he believes it is all in my head, and women are just hysterical or something. I am not quite sure how foul, watery, diarrhea (sorry, too much information) is all in my head or I am just doing it for attention (note to doctor, people don’t like to pay attention to people with DIARRHEA who fart and belch).

    Grrrr. Okay, sorry about the rant, and here is the real reason I am posting.

    I am lucky enough to live in Australia where the dietician Sue Shepherd practices, and I was recently diagnosed by one of her fellow dieticians in her practice (after hydrogen breath tests). It has made a difference, which is great (very reduced amounts of the icky stuff I mentioned above).

    Here is her website, AVT you have probably posted it elsewhere, but here you go http://www.coeliac.com.au/. She specialises in coeliac disease – but she also has a significant interest in fructose malabsorption (she did her PhD on it). This woman is so dedicated to the cause she also developed this absolutely amazing food guide for shopping with fructose malabsorption – heaven! It has pictures, and descriptions of almost every single food on the supermarket shelves possible! For example, she has even gotten down to the detail of which flavours of a certain brand of food are safe (say, ice cream for example) and which are not! She probably got some poor student to do it, but whatever, it is great for me, especially since I am not a great cook, and I like (healthy) easy to prepare foods.

    A word of caution – this is an unbelievably helpful resource for people who live in Australia, but probably not as helpful for people who live elsewhere because she actually lists brand names of products, which are probably different in every country. And even big brand names have different ingredients and formulas in different countries.

    But her cookbooks should be universal and all the ingredients would be easy to find around the world. Note, Australian “tasty” cheese (actually a type, not a brand, yes Australians are weird) should be substituted with an English cheddar or equivalent. You can order some great cookbooks from her website (the ones I have are “Gluten-free Cooking” and Irresistibles for the Irritable”). I am not sure about shipping overseas, you would have to ask her organisation about that.

    Cheers,

    JJ

    P.S. I have no “financial” or promotional interest in the site/organisation, I am just a fellow fructmal reporting on what has worked for me.

  45. Hi,

    Sorry, me again. Denise, I find too much dairy to be a problem – remember, all adults are lactose intolerant to some degree, because our bodies start to stop producing the enzymes to digest it around age 3 or 4 (a couple of years after we stop breastfeeding). Some cultures (who have had dairy for centuries) have better lactose digestion ability than others (like ones that haven’t traditionally raised dairy cows for centuries). I would still get all the testing done, but in the meantime, think about your ancestors and your family – would they come from a culture with a lot of dairy (usually Northern European) or little dairy?

    I find lactose free milk (usually available at most supermarkets, and definitely health food stores) is an easy switch. And I am okay with pure yogurt (I avoid the ones flavoured with sugary fruit flavours). If you can afford it biodynamic or organic is the way to go, otherwise the cheaper brands tend to beef up their creaminess by adding extra milk solids – extra lactose usually). I would also avoid low fat yogurt products – they usually stick in inulin (BAD for us fructmals) or extra milk solids to keep the creamy texture you get in the natural Greek or thick full fat yogurts. A drizzle of maple syrup is great on top of plain yogurt.

    I am not a doctor/dietician, but I think that AVT would agree with me that Cheerios are a serious problem – because of the wheat in them. If you live near a major health food store, try to find gluten free/wheat free alternatives for a while – there are some great kid-friendly brands out there.

    Denise, again I am not a doctor/dietician, but you may also want to consider following a gluten free/casein free diet. Usually followed by kids with autism/ADHD (I am so NOT saying your daughter has these issues at all), they have been found to relieve some symptoms in kids. Because your daughter is so young, she may not be able to express that the foods you are giving her are making her sick (unintentionally of course, you sound like a great, concerned mom) and so she is having hissy fits.

    I know myself that gluten free macaroni and cheese (KK, you may want to try this) and gluten free cornflakes have been great comfort foods, and very little difference in taste. Note: spelt and kamut are BAD, don’t believe people when they say they are safe. However, gluten free buckwheat pancakes (buckwheat actually has nothing to do with wheat) with maple syrup – yum!

    Cheers,

    JJ

  46. Sorry, one last comment about Australian recipes. When they say “pumpkin”, they usually mean a squash like butternut or acorn, and when they say squash they usually mean the mini ones you can get. North American pumpkin is very different from the Australian ones – I find it is too bitter for most recipes without sugar (or cream in soup).

    Cheers,

    JJ

  47. I’m writing in response to reading Denise’s comments about her daughter becoming violent. My son is 13 yrs. old and I have known for several years that there is a connection between him having fructose and his violent episodes. I can’t even explain how out-of-control he gets. I’m not talking about temper tantrums…I’m talking serious violent, aggressive, unbelievable anger and irritability. He has always had difficulty falling asleep and has been on medication to help him sleep since he’s been 5. He is currently on Wellbutrin for depression, but it doesn’t help. I keep pushing the fact that he has a reaction every time he gets ahold of a CapriSun fruit drink or certain kinds of candy, but the doctors I have seen seem to think there’s little to no connection. I am taking him to an pediatric endo tomorrow and insisting on the breath tests. I will update after I hopefully get some results.

    It’s been a struggle and very frustrating for years to get the doctors he’s seen to acknowledge even a possible link. He has seen different psychiatrists and they simply can’t diagnose him, because he only flips out at certain times. He’s not bipolar, ADD, ADHD, ODD, or any other “psychological” diagnosis. I am very careful about what he eats, but he gets candy on the bus, or snacks at friends’ houses and I can’t always control it.

    I’m wondering if any of the adults that have this, have experienced this kind of extreme irritation or agitated behavior. Is it possible that this condition is much more prevalent and may be causing depression and insomnia, mood changes, etc. in lots of people?

  48. Hi,
    Thank you for your excellent and informative site!

    From what I understand, FructoMals don’t need to cut out all fruits, only ones that have a high fructose to glucose ratio.

    Fruits with either glucose in balance with or in excess of fructose are generally tolerated in moderation. These include citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemons etc), berries (blueberries, raspberries etc), ripe bananas, pineapple, kiwi fruit, and passionfruit.

    Fructose malabsorption can also result in a number of key nutrient deficiencies including folic acid and zinc.

    I’ve had great success also with taking l-tryptophan as a supplement (Life Extension).

    Thanks again for your great blog!

  49. Pingback: Low Fructose Diet in Fructose Malabsorption | Current Health Articles 2009

  50. Hello Denise and KK!
    Sorry I’ve been off-line for awhile! I am almost at the one month mark of dealing with my first case of tendonitis. Keyboarding has been quite a strain so I’ve been avoiding at as I want to make a strong recovery!

    From what I understand, the ingredients in packaged foods vary widely from place to place. For example, there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in Coca-Cola here in Canada. Here it is sweetened with plain old sugar.
    I went through all my favourite cereals when I first found out about the wheat aspect of fructmal and I eliminiated Cheerios. I can’t remember exactly why – but it would’ve been for wheat content of some kind. (It also has TSP – y’know, the stuff you use to degrease your walls before you paint? – yeah, that stuff – tri-sodium phosphate…. nothing to do with fructmal though!)
    I have also run into the “hippie-food” issue of everything being sweetened with fruit juice!
    I eat GLUTINO brand Honey Nut cereal
    http://www.glutino.com/content/view/93/111/
    It is sweetened with dehydrated cane juice, and has a little honey. I find it okay in moderation. I also like to make rolled oats.
    I’m not fond of oatmeal, but melt a little butter in a sauce pan, then throw in a handful of dried rolled oats. Keep them constantly moving as they toast to a golden brown – they’ll start to smell like roasted nuts. pour water over them just to cover them and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and DON’T touch them. Kind of like making rice, but without having to cover the pot. By the time the water is gone, the oats should be cooked. They come out like wild rice. I love it!
    Denise – the “killing the bad bacteria” thing – I’m sorry I’m responding so late to this…. doesn’t sound good. First of all, the only thing that kills bacteria is antibiotics. So the doc is talking about antibiotics here.
    Antibiotics don’t just kill “bad” bacteria. There’s no picking and choosing. Antibiotics kill all bacteria. How complete a job they do depends on the dosage and duration.

    There are some gut problems that are treated with antibiotics. I believe many forms of IBS are caused by the bacteria in the gut multiplying totally out of control and the sufferer becomes literally infested with gut bacteria. Antibiotics are used to bring down the population. An alternative is a very specific diet that feeds you with foods that the bacteria cannot draw any nutrients from, thereby reducing their numbers by starving them.

    Ironically, the word “probiotic” just means “bacteria”. Foods that are “probiotic” are foods containing live bacteria. Soooo… the doc’s suggestion is to kill off a bunch of bacteria, then….. consume a bunch of bacteria?
    Huh?

    I have NEVER come across any research to suggest that fructmal is related to an overgrowth of bacteria. Some fructmals have seen positive results by trying to rebalance the specific breeds of intestinal bacteria. This sort of therapy requires a specialized knowledge of the different breeds of organisms, what each one does and how it interacts with the other breeds of bacteria in the gut and how the populations must interact. Particular breeds of organism in exact dosages are taken and the results are medically tracked.
    This is NOT buying mass-produced yoghurt with god-knows-what bacteria in it. It is also NOT just killing off masses of bacteria willy-nilly.
    If the regime your doc is talking about is this sort of precise rebalancing, then that’s one thing…. but the idea that an antibiotic would kill the “bad bacteria” is…. not inspiring confidence.

    I would seriously seek a second opinion on the antibiotics thing. Though it is ONLY ANECDOTAL, many fructmals I have spoken with never had fructmal until an illness forced them to take large doses of antibiotics!
    Sounds like your doc is confusing fructmal with IBS.

    Both of you have inquired about foods that are okay. I want to reiterate that each fructmal must formulate their own personal list – we are all different!

    That said, the only veggies I have a problem with are onions, asparagus, artichokes, and sometimes green and yellow beans – these are, interestingly, the “biggies” in the fructmal world for veg. Sometimes I can have green beans IF they have been commercially frozen.
    The following are often complained about:
    carrots, corn, some varieties of potatoes… the sweet stuff.
    This article:
    http://www.healthhype.com/low-fructose-diet-in-fructose-malabsorption.html
    was done after quite an extensive online survey of fructmals and what foods bothered them. Great list!
    There is no reason to eliminate veggies during the washout period. If you eliminate too much food, you will be undernourished by the time the washout period is through and instead of feeling balanced and healthy you will feel rundown and depleted.

    Hope this has been helpful! :)
    Ariana
    ……………………….milk is fine!

    • Hi
      I am confused. Did I understand you saying it is not necessary to cut out all veggies during the ‘washout time’? Do you mean the restoring phase, like 4 to 6 weeks?
      the site with the low fructose diet you quote, says for testing you should cut them all out and if you improve keep cutting them out for 4 to 6 weeks, right?
      I don’t know what to eat!!!!

  51. Wendy,

    Yes – constipation rather than diarrhea is a common variance in fructmal. Many people get this, or a combination of both.
    It is not an indicator of misdiagnosis.
    :)
    Ariana

  52. Karin,
    due to fructmal’s interference with the body manufacture of serotonin, fructmal is associated with depression.

    Many allergies have behavioural symptoms rather than hives or whatnot. My sister’s allergies have always manifested as shrieking, screaming, wailing, throwing things etc. (She isn’t fructmal, she’s allergic to many colourings and flavourings and preservatives).

    I’va also heard of a multi-vitamin in a remarkably high dosage that seems to do wonders for many people suffering from psychological and emotional problems – almost like their brains are not getting enough nutrients to function.

    I haven’t heard of fructmal per se causing the kinds of emotional reactions you’ve described to those degrees – but my knowledge and experience is not the be-all and end-all! I am learning more all the time! I will say that fructmal seems to hit the young ones harder, and that fructmal likes companion ailments. It’s VERY common for fructmals to also be lactose intolerant, or be allergic to things…. so perhaps the culprit is fructmal AND something else?

    As to foods obtained outside the home, … wow. Kids are kids, eh? I am not a mother myself. I will say, that there are many mothers in the support group I have linked to in a couple of the comments higher on the page. Try joining this group.
    I have noticed – if this helps – that many mothers try and help their kids to draw their own associations between bad foods and their painful GI symptoms. Having the child make the deduction and therefore gain power. This helps the child prefer to say “no” to bad foods because they don’t want them.
    Easy for me to say, I know.

    I hope the group helps! :)
    Ariana

  53. Some people with Fructmal do also have bacterial overgrowth due to the fructose feeding all those icky bacteria so well. This can be diagnosed with a breath test too. And antibiotics are used to treat this. These poor people may have fructmal and lactose intolerance too and will still need the diet. The antibiotics are just to help the process.

    I have just been diagnosed with fructmal and lactose intolerance. I am lucky to live in Australia and have just been to Sue Shepherd’s fantastic presentation. How great to find a group like this!

  54. Does anyone know of a chart of fructan (inlulin) content in foods, a comprehensive chart that lists lots of vegetables, fruits and grains? I’ve been searching online but haven’t found one under fructan or under inulin. Thanks.

  55. A light has gone off here for me. I have migraines and already knew that HFCS was my primary trigger. After trying probiotics with FOS, I’ve landed here on your blog, and made a SERIOUS connection with what’s been going on with me.

    For the last three weeks or so, I’ve been just ill, stomach, listless, feeling downright horrible, verging on having some of the worst gas and related issues, ever. I stopped taking the probiotics last night, woke up feeling like a new person today.

    And did a search on the probiotic issue … they had FOS. More fructose. + bacteria. It is crystal clear what I’d been doing to myself.

    Anyway, I’ll start with make more dietary modifications in the morning. I can’t wait to start trying this out. I’ll miss wheat, but I won’t miss how I’m feeling now.

    Thanks so much. Your humor and honesty has really helped.

    Paula

  56. Is Lactobacillus what you term a probiotic, if so I have been swallowing fructose for the last 5 months or so. I have strong feeling that I am fructose intolerant. I have a huge mental problem with avoiding leeks/onions etc, they make food so much more tasty!!! I don’t buy much processed food. But I am having a problem with a ‘bread’. I am gluten intolerant and all other breads seem to be made with whole rice. I have a slight intolerance to yeast, but can tolerate a little every now and again. I feel doomed. I am an elite age group athlete and need carbs in my diet. One of my symptoms of a possible Fructose intolerance is insomnia alongside the IBS type symptoms and fuzzy head and eyes which are linked.

  57. Hi,
    Love your weblog!!
    Just found out I am a fructose malabsorption.
    I went to the store and got some “Whole Grain Organic Quinoa” (gluten free).
    Is it safe for me?
    I’ve heard that I need to avoid all the whole grain products even if it’s gluten free.
    Is it true??

  58. I’ve only discovered that there was such a thing as fructmal very recently. Something about it just clicks. It seems like all the foods I have a problem with are problems for fructmals. One natural doctor I see just says “well, try out the diet and see if it works.” Other doctors don’t have a clue, others say the tests to prove to really prove anything. I’m not 100% though with the diet but I think I am making mistakes. I didn’t realize about apple cider vinegar. Is dijon mustard bad too?

    Also, what you said about antibiotics was interesting. I had thought the antibiotics caused SIBO, but then any doctor I see is clueless. The last GI doctor I had just gave me an RX for tetracycline and sent me on my way. I didn’t take it, but what would make him think to prescribe that antibiotic? He ran no tests and I haven’t seen anywhere that that would be the antibiotic to use for SIBO.

    Now I’m searching for a doctor that will test me for fructmal. I get such smelly gas, that I think I am a methane producer. Would the test be inaccurate then?

    I’m lost.

  59. Hi AVT,

    Your article is great as well as all the comments and answers you give.

    I was diagnosed by a GI doctor before he did any tests. He just listened to me describe my symptoms and came up with Fructose Malabsorption. He could not test for it in Ontario, because the Ontario government stopped paying for the test a few years ago. As a result, the test is not available.
    He went through with the rest of the GI tests, endoscopy, colonoscopy, cat scan. Everything was negative. Which is a good thing.

    I am also lactose intolerant. As a result, some of the gluten free breads, such as Glutino, are out. I have tried the Kinnick brand of bagels, and they are good, however, they have sugar in them. Is the sugar in these breads less of a problem then the fructans in regular sugar free bread?

    Do you have a list of sweeteners available in Canada that can be used instead of sugar? I noticed that you use Sugar In The Raw. Doesn’t that have fructose in it? Are there any sweeteners or sugar replacements that are pure glucose with no fructose?

    I seem to react to sugar(sucrose) and as a result I have had to stop my daily espresso, since I cannot drink it without sugar.

    I also recently have had to cut out regular potatoes. I used to eat them all the time, but now I can’t.

    Thanks.

  60. This is a great blog; very helpful. I was diagnosed with IBS about 7 years ago but have had symptoms for about 15 years now. I first heard about FM a few months ago and a lot of bells went off. I’d love to get the hydrogen breath test, but I’m unemployed and live in the U.S., hence no health insurance. I don’t know how much the test costs, but I imagine it’s beyond what I could afford.

    Also, since I don’t currently have a regular doctor and given standard U.S. medical practice, I’m sure I’d also have to go through the time and expense of at least one preliminary appointment before anyone would agree to do the tests. And then of course I’d have no guarantee that whatever doc I picked out of a phone book would have a clue about FM.

    So I’m wondering if there is any way to self-diagnose this. I realize the breath test is the only reliable method, but is there something else I could do that would give me a good idea? For example, maybe doing a short fast and then drinking a lot of pear juice or something else way high on the fructose, and seeing how I react?

    I know I could do the hard-core elimination diet for 4 to 6 weeks, of course, and try to find out that way. But I’ve been so sick lately I don’t know if I can wait that long, and I also feel it will be extremely hard for me to stick with that without knowing if I’m just following another dead end or not (I’ve tried practically everything else). I’m already pretty sure that I’m intolerant of lactose, soy, sorbitol, and all the gas-producing stuff like beans and cruciferous vegetables, so with the additional banned food of the FM diet, this will be really tough.

    Eliminating wheat will be especially tough, since I practically live on that, and I’ve never noticed any direct problems with it. But now that I know that some symptoms may take several days to show up, and given how much I rely on bread products, it could be that I just never noticed a direct connection. I did feel particularly ill after consuming a lot of apple juice a few days ago, so that’s why I’m thinking that doing some kind of fruit “overload” test might give me a better clue, as I don’t normally eat a lot of fruit, but I’m sure I get tons of fructose unwittingly in prepared foods.

    Thanks for reading this–sorry so long. Another quick question: Is wine or hard liquor forbidden on this diet? I couldn’t tell from all the stuff I read online.

    Finally, if anyone knows of a good doctor in the Seattle area who is familiar with FM and would do the breath test, please post the info here. Or if you know of an FM online discussion forum with a lot of U.S. members, that would also be very helpful.

    Thanks again!

    Mel

  61. Hi A.V.,

    Just so you know spelt is a wheat product. It a is actually a species of wheat that was used way way before today’s wheat species. Any celiac friendly or wheat free products should not have spelt as it has gluten. I know as I am allergic to gluten (allergy not celiac disease which is differnt). There are a couple of really good gluten free recipe books that have tips about making gluten free baking mixes. Idon’t have them with me so I will try to get them to you later. Great blog by the way.

    M.E.

  62. Hi Zo!

    Yes, quinoa is fine. It contains no fructans! Yay!

    As to avoiding all grains – no! You don’t have to avoid all grains. Quinoa is a grain…. well, I suppose we could get into a very technical discussion about what is a “grain” and what is a “seed”… but we’ll leave those hairs to be split by the scientists!

    Gluten has NOTHING to do with being Fructmal. We have no problem with gluten AT ALL. Go buy a bag of pure gluten and eat it with a spoon… ummm if that kinda thing rings your bell! LOL! Fructose is a sugar comprised of a single molecule, which is how it is in fruit and honey and stuff. It can, however, link together with other fructose molecules to form a chain of fructose molecules with a single glucose molecule at the end. These fructose chains are called “fructans”.
    It’s important to know about fructans because they are NOT classified as “fructose” on a food chart, but our bodies react to them just like fructose. So fructans act as… like secret hidden fructose.

    The reason we can’t have wheat is not because of the gluten, it’s because wheat contains fructan chains. If you look up wheat on a nutrition chart, the chart will say it has no fructose. But that because they’re only looking at single molecule fructose – they don’t count or list the fructan chains. But our bodies will have a reaction to the fructan chains just as badly as single molecule fructose!
    So what has this hidden fructose content known as “fructan-chains” or “fructans”?

    The biggies:

    wheat
    spelt
    kamut
    brown rice
    onions/green onions/leeks
    asparagus
    artichokes

    Lesser evils:

    chives/green part of green onions
    green beans
    rye
    **be careful buying so-called “rye” bread. it is usually just wheat bread with some rye added

    Some people have a problem with the following (but not most people):

    oats
    some varieties of potatoes
    corn
    barley

    As far as I know these are TOTALLY fine:

    quinoa
    millet
    white rice
    amaranth
    buckwheat
    sticky rice ( also called glutinous rice or sweet rice)
    wild rice
    teff

    Everyone is probably tired of hearing this but everyone is different! Some people have more reaction than others to certain things on the list while others have no problem.
    It is up to each of us to compile our own personal “okay” “occasionally” and “never” lists that apply to us only. Obviously, ALL of us are okay with foods that contain no fructose or fructans at all.

    I hope this list is helpful! :)
    AVT

  63. Thank You so much for answering me.

    What about sugar substitute?
    I use to use Splenda a lot but looks like lately it’s also hurt my stomach.
    I know I can use Dextrose but trying to avoid it because it contains sugar and I don’t want to gain weight (I’m drinking LOTS of coffee/tea a day).
    Any suggestions?
    And by the way- what about flavored tea? can I have that? (lets say Chamomile/ green tea/ fruit flavor?
    Thanks again!!
    Zo.

  64. Hi Zo,

    I drink chamomile all the time, no problem. I also find orange (orange peel, rosehips) tea to be fine. I think some fructmals are fine with small amounts of citrus for flavouring, especially the peel, but as AVT says, everyone is different, unfortunately you will just have to experiment.

    Careful with sugar substitutes. Some contain sorbitol (also most sugar free chewing gums), which some fructmals also react to – but hey, you may not react at all. Check out FODMAPs diet info on the web, it may give you some ideas (Fructose is one of these along the spectrum).

    I mentioned an Australian dietician in an earlier posting who works with these types of diets, some of her stuff may be useful for you to check out.

    Cheers,

    JJ

  65. Actually, sorry, I should mention that sorbitol reaction is not a fructose problem, but some fructmals have an additional sorbitol reaction problem (sorbitol is naturally in peaches, plums, nectarines, etc.).

    Cheers,

    JJ

    • Sorbitol actually inhibits the absorption of Fructose in ALL people. That is why many people, even those without fructmal, get a tummy ache from too much apple juice, etc. Highest levels are, I believe, in apples and pears.
      :)

  66. Are there any books that have info about Fruc Mal and a diet to follow? I’m finding contradictory lists online and would love a good book to follow.

    Thanks!

  67. Hi Zo,

    I have just been diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorbtion. After 15 years of agonising pains in the stomach. I had my Gall Bladder removed. I had two colonoscopy’s and two endoscopies. I have been on a Somac for over 10 years. Recently having the daily dose doubled to 80mg. Finally I was correctly diagnosed and went on a FODMAP’s diet. All the pains in my stomach cleared up within 24 hours. I just couldn’t believe it would work so quickly. I only wish that they could have diagnosed it before enduring 15 years of agony.

    John

  68. Hello to everyone, I have a 5 yr old daughter with a possible fructmal condition, I live in NYC and we can’t seem to find any place or doctor that can administer the Hydrogen Breath Test, sounds ridiculous I know. I have been researching on my own and wonder if anyone has a small child with this condition so that we can compare notes. Any enzymes, or supplements that I can use? She defintely shows some of the symptoms I read about regarding , the tryptophan/serotonin connection, (angry, irritable, hyperactive, not able to concentrate etc.) and it causes problems in school, at times. Doctors did not help so far. Anyone who has any advice I will always be grateful to. Especially any mom with small child like me.

  69. how long does it take for the depression and insomnia to fully go away after starting on a fructose free and fructan free diet. im on the end of my second week and fell a little better.

    • Hi JG! Sorry to have taken so long to respond!
      Curse this arm pain! Grrrrrrr…..

      I found the depression was noticably better with a week and after 4 weeks I knew what “normal” people felt like!

      How have you been doing?
      :)

  70. Mickey Christensen

    Hi – have been diagnosed as fructose intolerant recently and am having a terrible time finding recipes of something decent to eat. internet says no cookbooks available. Also I do have a few receips that call for corn syrup, but the corn syrup in the grocery store has the first ingredient listed as high fructose corn syrup.

    any info on where to get just corn syrup.

    • Hello Mickey~

      First off, congrats on finding out that Fructose is a problem! I know it sounds weird to congratulate someone on something like that, but I know what it’s like to NOT know what’s wrong with you!
      Next, we need to iron out some terminology! Terminology in the Fructmal world can REALLY make a difference – especially regarding recipes etc. Were you diagnosed with Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) or Fructose Malabsorption (also known as DFI or Dietary Fructose Intolerance – though this is a confusing label that we Fructmals are trying to push out of use)?

      When searching for recipes, go to a site like Amazon and use the term “fructose”. That’s often successful. Also look into GLuten-Free cookbooks, as we need to stay away from wheat/spelt/kamut. These recipes will contain some things we can’t have, like brown rice or fruit, but you can then tweak them.

      I would suggest staying away from corn syrup and using something like golden cane syrup. Remember that this is a “high-load” sugar and needs to be used in *moderation*.

      Hope that helps!
      Stay in touch! :)

  71. Hi i live in the UK and have fructose malabsorbsion. I have been on the FODMAP diet now for 3 months and have had none of my previous symptoms. I have stuck to it strictly due to the severity of the cramps i get resulting in me fainting (this is a big deterrent and i was at my wits end willing to try anything to get some help) I am feeling very disappointed to day however as i have had my first flare up in ages and don’t know why the only thing i can put it down to is eating lots of brownie (made from dark choc and wheat free flour) and quite a lot of coca cola (as a treat) I have checked the ingredients and in the UK coca cola is made with sugar rather than corn syrup and although the dark choc contains small traces of organic milk powder it is only a trace. I am feeling very confused and dissappointed as thought i’d finally found a solution to my problem can any one help ?
    Hannah x

    • Hello Hannah!

      Coke in Canada is also made with sugar rather than the HFCS apparently used in the US, but Coke is definately a “high-load” product. We can have moderate amounts of sucrose, but you say you had a lot, so….

      Also, please define “wheat-free” flour. Fructmals cannot tolerate spelt and kamut (as they ARE actually forms of wheat). We also cannot have brown rice, and some of us are sensitive to rye, oats, corn and potatoes. Corn flour, potato flour, brown rice flour, spelt – these are often used in wheat-free products.

      Let me know~
      Glad you are largely symptom free now! :)

  72. This is a document that I found online that lists sugar content (the different kinds of sugars) in a lot of different foods, it’s not perfect but it has been very helpful for me.
    http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Classics/index.html

  73. Thank you for the link, Kate!

    I think it must be noted that:

    The PDF document on sugars note that the info is old and posted for those who wish to use it for “historical purposes”. This is undoubtedly due to the constantly changing formulations for processed foods. The info should be, I would imagine, still quite accurate for fruits and veg. A cucumber’s a cucumber, eh?

    Also keep in mind, fructan chains (like those in wheat/spelt/kamut) are NOT counted as fructose in tables like these.

    FYI :)

  74. My son has been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and is also constipated. I’m having a hec of a time finding a safe supplement/laxative. He was put on Polyethylene Glycol by the GI doctor. This seemed to be poison for him. All his symptoms were exasperated, now I’m using Metamucil capsules(Psyllium Fiber), but they have Polysorbate 80 in them. Is this ingrediant problematic? If so , any suggestions for an alternative? Is Wheat dextrin a safe alternative?

    • Hello Lisa!

      Sorry to be so long answering – tendonitis flare-up after “power gardening” to get everything ready for winter!

      I don’t know about Polysorbate 80… perhaps another reader?… I found my bouts of constipation are related to my diet. Is he getting plenty of fibre from his food? If he can tolerate potatoes, the skins are a great source of fibre. I scrub the taters well before peeling, then once the naked potatoes are in the boiling water I minced the skins up very fine and add them to the main course…. chili, pasta sauce, stir-fry… once they’re cooked up there sort of disappear!

      One thing I have heard with regards to fibre products is to watch the labels EVERYTIME you purchase. Apparently the companies like to change their ingredients with… err… regularity. hehehe.
      :)

      • Thanks for your response. Got back from the GI Doctor a week ago and my son’s constipation is worse now than it was when we started this journey. It seem the metamucil made things worse? So we had to do a complete clean out on him. SO hard on his little body.

        It is so hard to get him to cooperate with anything now. He is sick of only drinking water, he is sick of his diet limitations and he is sick of me monitoring his toilette visits.

        He doesn’t seem to tolerate rice either, seems to constipate, so does millet. He also has trouble with soy. So what am I to do? Right now we have to give him mineral oil everyday, which is not healthy for him at all, and he is still constipated. Help! Are there any other parents out there that live in Washington State and are able to start a support group? I would really love some guidance, no one around here understands this condition and all the other diets for Candida or Intestinal problems seem to go against the guidelines for fructose malabsorption. Please someone have some recipes or guidance.

      • I already wrote today, but I found some information on another laxative I could use on my son and I wanted to run it by you. Is flaxseed oil safe on the fructose malabsorption diet? I was thinking of substituting it for the mineral oil. I don’t know if it will be as effective, I just like the idea of something with health value.

    • If rice and millet are also giving him trouble, then either his problem is not fructmal, or the fructmal is complicated by another issue.

      I am afraid I am out of my depth here. I hesitate in giving advice for little ones as their health is so much more complex ….

      My earlier responses to other readers have included a link to a yahoo group out of Australia. This group includes many people with sick children who would have more knowledge than I do!

      I hope things get better! I am sending you both my good thoughts!
      AVT

  75. “I have NEVER come across any research to suggest that fructmal is related to an overgrowth of bacteria.”

    Here’s one study I found:

    Abnormal breath tests to lactose, fructose and sorbitol in irritable bowel syndrome may be explained by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118696419/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    When the researchers treated the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) with antibiotics it “caused a significant reduction in lactose, fructose and sorbitol breath tests positivity…”

    Therefore, it is possible that some people who believe they are suffering from fructose malabsorbtion may actually be suffering from SIBO. In theory, based on that study, they could eradicate the overgrowth with antibiotics and no longer test positive for fructose malabsorbtion.

    Food for thought.

    • Hi Steve!

      Thanks for the link…. your quote sounds very intriguing, but I can’t seem to log into this site. Is anyone else able to log on? My sweetie just bult me a new computer and this is my first day on it – might be my machine.

      The reduction of fructmal reaction is very interesting! I am a little hesitant since my problems began with antibiotics – but that’s just me. I have heard of a diet, very restrictive but only meant as a temporary measure, that helps those with bacterial overgrowth by starving the bacteria to reduce their numbers. If overgrowth was determined to be the issue, I think I would gravitate toward that, but again…. personal bias.

      Thank you for the link… I’ll talk to my DH about helping me get on it! :)

  76. Hello,

    Wow! Lots of good information here. After several years of suffering I was finally diagnosed with FructMal 3 years ago. It took me 2 1/2 years to finally get to a point where I felt pretty good. Seems nutritionists have just so much knowledge. I gave up fruit, most veges, all sugar stuff, but still felt rotton until I realized that I had to give up whole wheat. The results were almost immediate. Now days, my diet is very limited, I seem to be sensitive to so many things, but I’ve finally managed to gain back 4 of the 20 pounds I lost. My diet is boring, but it works. Your points about depression are very interesting. After I finally got away from fructose and it’s buddies, I was able to concentrate again. Read books and actually remember what I’d read 5 minutes later!
    So much for babbling. My question is, what types of suppliments do others take? I take a multivitamin, calcium and D, but still feel tired and wonder what I am missing. Any suggestions?
    Thanks for listening!
    E

    • Hi Eileen!
      Sorry about the delay in responding!….I’m apologizing to everyone! Stupid gardening for the coming winter has aggravated my arm again. :(

      I’m glad you are seeing some improvement! The diet seems a little limited at first, but boredom shall drive you to discover new foods!!

      I have found that, after about a year of being on my Fructmal diet, my tolerance for some things is getting better. Giving your body a rest can help a lot. Don’t think of this diet as something you’ll need to be on forever – for a while, yes, but variety is on the horizon, both via new and unusual foods you’ve never tried before and old faves you may one day be able to revisit.

      Anytime you have a restricted diet you need to pay close attention to ensuring you’re getting all your nutrients. Macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats), micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc), water and fibre are my four guides. I try and keep these four in mind. With wheat/spelt/kamut/brown rice gone, it is very important to compensate with other carbs and keep the fibre level up too. White rice, potatoes with the skins, quinoa, and amaranth are all good. It’s important to keep as many veggies as possible. Try the unusual ones – most greens are safe for most fructmals, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, endive – rhutabegas and turnips are great done in a curry or minced fine and added to something else.

      I take a multi, vitamin C, glucosamine/chondroi/MSM, calcium, selenium, oil of oregano, and kelp…. but most of them I would take even if I wasn’t Fructmal. :)

  77. I was diagnosed with celiac 4 yrs ago, lactose intolerant, then allergic to milk, saliciate sensitivity, both to fruits and veggies and also benzoates in the creams and perfumes,etc. I have been following the diet for all this conditions to the letter and was still having problems. About four months ago developed pain under my ribcage and thought had liver problems, text negative. In a lot of pain. Was told by previous doc to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. When I look for the hederitary intolerance and then read about the malabsortion, it made sense . Deleted the beans an apples out of my already limited diet and I feel so much better. I am also taking medication for depression, I was always the verge of killing someone and is not good when I work in social services, suffer from hypoglycemia and have seizures and the neurologist can not figure out why. I also wanted to metion that beano has wheat, there is a gluten free version on valuemeds.com. Your story was very inspiring. Any suggestions.

    • Hello Mayra~
      My goodness – you have my sympathies! It sounds as though, if you do have Fructmal, it is complicated by many other intolerances! That is NOT unusual. Fructose Malabsorption seems to LOVE company and sufferers are often lactose intolerant, have IBS, etc… It is also possible that there is a larger issue that is giving you all these problems.

      Beano, as is my understanding, works by breaking disaccharides and polysaccharides into their component monosaccharides. This helps many people as monosaccharides are usually more easily tolerated. For example, lactose is a disaccaride (a saccharide or sugar made up of two -”di”- molecules). It is made up of the monosaccharide galactose and the monosaccharide glucose. Sucrose is also a disaccharide. It is made up of the monosaccharide glucose and the monosaccharide fructose.

      As fructose is already a monosaccharide, it cannot be broken down anymore that it is, so products like beano don’t affect it.

      Sucrose is commonly known as “table sugar”. The white sugar you put in your tea and coffee is sucrose. So is raw or turbinado sugar, brown sugar, etc. AS such, these items DO have fructose in them. They are exactly 50/50 fructose and glucose. That means, for MOST fructmals, these products can be consumed in moderation, though some frustmals are so sensitive they must avoid these things as well.

      I’m afraid I’m not a medical expert, so I don’t know anything about your other symptoms. Keep the faith and keep searching your area and the web for help! My good wishes are with you!

      Ariana

      PS… try Googling FODMAPS. This is a diet that has help a LOT of people with extreme digestive troubles. Research it. Talk to health providers about it and see if it is right for you.

  78. Hi. I love your site! I was diagnosed recently, after 14 years of frustration and many, many different diagnoses and theories from well-meaning doctors, naturopaths and gastroenterologists. I’ve had patronising lectures from many about how I just need to stress less, get more fibre, cut out fibre, drink more water or cut out just about every food group known to man. Your website is a godsend!
    I too, went to bed one day with perfect gastro health and woke up the next very very ill, aftertaking antibiotics for tonsilitis. Since then, I have never been able to digest things properly.

    You are the first person I have heard mention the antibiotic connection and finally, there is recognition from the medical world (see link). No more doctors rolling their eyes when I mention antibiotics!

    http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/13/5687.asp

    Now, my question: I’ve read a million things about fructmal and the foods we should avoid but am tearing my hear out trying to find recipes for actual meals (not cakes and brownies!). Do I have to reinvent the wheel?

    Many thanks for your thoughtful site,
    Natasha.

    • I’m glad you like the site, Natasha!

      Thanks for the great link! Hmmm… recipes for meals? That’s interesting! I suppose that’s because so many people have such varying tolerances. I tolerate moderate exposure to sucrose, as well as corn, potatoes, and carrots. Some fructmals find these problematic. Onions are generally not tolerated, but I’ve found I can handle chives and the green part of green onions. Perhaps I can give you a quick starting point:

      My common breakfasts:
      -oatmeal
      -Glutino brand “O” cereal… “Honey-something”!
      -bacon and eggs and hash browns(stear clear of sausages – too many problematic ingredients)
      -savoury french toast (AKA no sugar)… whisk milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and italian seasonings and dip gluten-free sandwich bread. Fry in butter. Mmmmmm!
      -Mesa Sunrise brand gluten-free frozen waffles with butter and a “touch” of syrup. (again, tolerances for sucrose vary)
      -soft-boiled egg and gluten-free toast fingers
      -potato latkes with rice flour instead of wheat flour

      Lunches:
      -BLT using gluten-free bread
      -Baked beans and gluten-free toast
      -homemade soup with white rice or barley
      -homemade chili with white rice or served over mashed potatoes.
      -scrambled egg sandwich with a side of raw carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter (YUM!)
      -tuna melts on ryvita (tolerance to rye varies)
      -personal sized pizza made on gluten-free pizza rounds
      -raw veggies and homemade dip, with rice cracker and liver pate (tolerance to pate ingredients will vary)

      Suppers:
      -homemade potatoes au gratin, roast beef and steamed veggies
      -shepherd’s pie
      -rice and quinoa veggie and chicken stir-fry
      -grilled chicken, steamed veggies and mashed or baked potatoes
      -chicken in “MacGyvered” Thai peanut sauce (in other words, salt, pepper, peanut butter, & curry powder) with rice and veg sauteed
      -broccoli and easy cheese sauce (shred low-fat cheddar into a little milk – add s&p and microwaves 30 seconds at a time, stirring between zaps until sauce is made!), pork chops and mashed potatoes
      -homemade beefaroni using Annie’s brand rice macaroni

      ……..well, you get the idea! I’m no gourmet, but my hubby and I eat good, tasty meals.
      I hope this helps! Feel free to ask more about this!

      Ariana

      • I was drooling reading your menu! I am assuming that these are mostly home made items to control the ingredients. For example, how do you make baked beans without molasses, a big no-no for fructmals? How do you make beefaroni without a tomato based sauce? Love your weblog!

      • ROFL, Anne-Marie! Hope the drool didn’t get on your keyboard!

        Yes, the “homemade” aspect is to control ingredients…

        I have no issue with tomatoes… many fructmals can have tomatoes, so that’s not an issue. You could make a beefy mac & cheese… so you would just do a cheese sauce! Mmmmm!

        Molasses is a sucrose, so again, everyone’s different! I can have a modest serving, as long as I don’t have it more than once a week. Other people’s tolerances would be different. Therefore I can buy it in a tin.
        :)
        AT

  79. Thank you for making it all sound simple. If only the food makers would use a bit of sense and a tiny bit more money and make food without all the extras.

    I can’t have so many things, fructose, lactose, raffinose, sorbitol and now I’m having trouble with nuts.
    White rice and veg (safe ones) and meat and fish.
    Oats for brekky, but I’m bored with it. No way I’m changing though. At least I don’t spend all day in the loo if I stick with my foods.

    • Hi Libby! Good to hear from you!

      Try this way to make oats… you can use old-fashioned oats or steel-cut oats (no “instant”) :

      Put a pat of butter the size of a quarter in a small saucepan and heat on med heat until melted.
      Toss a couple of handfuls of oats into pan and stir to coat.
      Continue to stir continuously – it will seem like NOTHING is happening, but the oats are coming up to temperature. As soon as they do, they will toast – then burn! So DO NOT wander away or stop stirring!
      When the oats are lightly toasted and smell lusciously nutty, pour water over oats just to cover them.
      Add a dash of salt, give a quick stir, just to blend the salt.
      Bring to boil -no stirring, then turn down to a light simmer. -no lid -no stirring.
      When water is gone oats should be done.

      You’ve basically cooked them a lot like rice, boil then simmer til water is gone. The important thing is to stop stirring once the water is added. This will prevent the oats from getting thick and they will turn out like light and fluffy – you can eat them with a fork like wild rice. No sugar, no syrup, just the butter and salt that was put in the pot.
      For variation, add pine nuts or slivered almonds (if you can have them) at the same time as the oats – they will toast along with them!

      Ariana

  80. I am elated that I have discovered your website! I have been diagnosed with lactose and fructose malabsorption. I was told to eat whole wheat bread, but I discovered that it did not work for me. Now I know why! Fructose malabsorption is worse than lactose for me. Thank you for the valuable information.

  81. Hi! I think I may have stumbled upon the cause of my toddlers boughts of diarrhoea! Since around 10 months of age (he’s now 19 months) he has had awful diarrhoea, ranging from watery to mushy, yuck! He went thorugh a phase where his weight was stagnant and at one point dropping off. He had loads of tests done, including coeliac which came back negative, although I was convinced he was coeliac because when I removed the wheat voila! he was much better. But the doctors were adamant he was not coeliac and just put it down to toddler diarrhoea – although the peadiatrician wants to keep his eye due to the weight loss as this is not usually seen in toddler diarrhoea (made me think, well if weightloss is not usually associated with toddler diarrhoea how can you be so sure???) I then stumbled across this site (about 4 months ago) and have since then begun the whole fruit/veg wheat exclusion thing, and what a massive difference in him, its amazing!! He is rapidly gaining weight (at 18 months he was still wearing 9-12 month clothes, now at 19 months he is nearly out of 12-18 month clothes) I have been trying fruit/veg etc one variety at a time and sofar have found the following (is this indicative of fructmal?)
    Definitely cannot tolerate:
    Apple
    Orange
    Banana
    Pineapple
    Onion
    Peas
    Carrots
    Wholegrain breads/pastas/cereals

    Can tolerate:
    White breads/pastas
    Strawberrys
    Tomato puree

    This is still very much a work in progress as it is such a slow process as when a fruit/veg affects him it can take him 3 days to come back right!! And then i don’t want him to get ill again straight away so give him a break. I would like to know whether you have any opinions regarding the difference in wholegrain/white breads and pastas, do the more refined white breads and pastas have lower fructans?
    Even if this isn’t strictly fructmal he’s suffering from, it may well be I have stumbled across a very possible cause for toddler diarrhoea. It may well be that toddler diarrhoea is a temporary form of fructose malabsorption, as toddler diarrhoea is something he is meant to grow out of with age.

  82. My friends have always called me methane man (ahem, for obvious reasons) and gave me grief for eating so healthy. Well, I guess they were right. I’ve recently been diagnosed, and have really enjoyed the information and humor in your blog. After reading along, at times, I forgot how annoying this condition is. Anyway, keep up the great work. One question for now. Does anyone have any (positive or negative) experience with Redbridge gluten-free beer? There’s a restaurant near me that serves it, but I’m afraid to try and potentially pay the price for the next few days. Thanks.

    • LOLOLOL!!!
      Welcome M-Man! Sorry to be so long in responding, but I am still struggling with my tendonitis… grrrr.
      Glad you are keeping a sense of humour! I know what you mean about not wanting to pay the price for something. I’m afraid I don’t drink beer, but …
      HEY!!! ~waves~ ANYBODY? THIS IS A SHOUTOUT!!!!

      Someone’s gotta respond…. Canadians are never far from beer! hehehe…

  83. Hi AV
    I take the same supplements as yourself with the addition of tryptophan. FM does badly affect my sleep pattern. But that is getting much better. I am interested to see that you think all green veg are ok. I have been sticking to spinach, chard, celery, fennel and mushrooms as the only veg I eat. So to branch out will be wonderful. I was put off veg like turnips and bok choy by a web site http://www.foodintol.com/sugar.asp they also say that white bread is ok. I paid for a food map and it is at odds with many others. Do you eat carrots, I really miss them.

    There is a book on the market on Fructose Malabsorption: The Survival Guide”
    Debra Ledford; Paperback; $15.99 I believe it explins the condition well and has some recipes in it. I think it is printed in the USA, I have ordered it here in the UK, but it will take a few weeks to reach me for obvious reasons. I will let you all know if I think it is worth the money or not.

    BTW how do you prepare your aramanth?

    Sorry M-Man I don’t drink beer.

  84. Hi,

    Is there a web link that lists actual fructan content/chain length per specific food? I’ve found a few links but only to fructose content of foods.

    Also, I’m curious about white rice – in your post you mentioned the husk part contains fructans? I know white rice is generally well-tolerated, but I am curious about this.

    I found your blog back in May but have been distracted by a diagnosis of a bunch of other food intolerances. Now that I’ve got those in order I am 4 days in to trialing FM and *hope* I’m on my way.

    My experience parallels yours in so many ways…feeling bad starting when I was 15 after a hypothyroidism diagnosis and starting medication for it. The depression that came on was scary and abrupt. When you mentioned your “curtain being lifted” one day, I felt encouraged. For me, it was like the curtain came down one day. Suddenly. It was if I was a happy teenager one day, and the next my reality – my world – had shifted and I didn’t recognize it. It was if I was in a cold, dream world. My parents didn’t know what to do. I always connected it with my hypothyroid diagnosis and researched it for years, thinking the medication was a factor. 16 years later, I’m still waiting for that curtain to lift back up again.

    Thanks for your posts!!

  85. me again!

    AV or anybody else, do you have any experience with rice cakes. I eat them but know that they are made from whole rice. But hoped that they are so processed that the wholeness if not a problem. I do have symptoms every now and again but I experiment a lot and as you have said symptoms can be instant or 4 days to manifest themselves completly. The first thing I notice is I don’t sleep. So looking at my rice cakes. I am an elite masters athlete running 30-40 miles a week and am desperate for some more sustaining carbs. I tried millet yesterday, and of course that could have been the trigger for my symptoms. But I hope not.

    Could some of you here on this wonderful forum share what you eat for breakfast please.

    Here in the UK there is little research of FM done and I am struggling for info and support. I know more than the nutritionists that I have tried to contact.

    After a bad night you can all guess how I feel today.

    • Hello Cecilia – I gave up on rice cakes a long time ago because they contain wheat (go figure) and I am pretty sensitive. My favorite carb is a good ole baked potato. (not red skinned). Poke a couple of holes in the top, throw it in the microwave for 5 minutes and you are good to go. With melted cheese and butter, it throws a little protein on the mix to help balance things out. I also drink a cup of milk (or lactaid if you are lactose intolerant) with some whey based protein powder in it ( i found a good one with no problematic ingredients)

    • What I eat for breakfast?
      Oatmeal
      Glutino brand Honey Nut cereal
      Bacon, Eggs and fried potatoes
      Granola made by a local bakery with only oats, almonds and a *touch* of honey

      Hope that helps! :)
      AVT

  86. Lisa H. – My doctor is in WA and I think he may be able to help you or a colleague of his, depending on who is closer to where you are – email me direct and I’ll give you details: joobers@gmail.com

    Alixe

  87. ok, I have been newly diagnosed with fructose malasorbtion recently after months of being sick and just stopped eating, I need help on what I can have and what I can’t I pretty much eat white bread and drink only water I am afraid to eat and get the bloating and the pain.

  88. av can you comment on the rice cakes please. Do you have them in Canada, I am sure that you do!!! Also do you have any experience with barley? Thank you for your meal lists, very helpful indeed.

    • Sorry for the delay cecilia!

      I have just figured out that once I approve a person’s first comment, they can then comment on my blog *without* me getting any email notification!! I am going to try and fix that so that I am notified EVERYTIME someone comments so no other comments are missed!

      Ultimately, you need to follow the advice of your body. If you are having a reaction – stop. If you are sure you are NOT reacting – not even a delayed reaction, then eat ‘em!

      My own personal instinct is that I don’t like to hope that something is SOOO processed that it has become…. edible. Have you tried other crunchy snacks? My latest OBSESSION is Blue Diamond brand Nut Thins! They are crackers made from white rice and ground nuts. You can get Almond, pecan,… several flavours.
      :)
      AVT

  89. hey, I think I may have an issue with fructose and fructans, but I’m not sure if my symptoms are typical. I have chronic bloating, every second of the day, no matter what (I think I was misdiagnosed with IBS-C, because a comprehensive “digestive” analysis showed colonic inflammation).

    The bloating increases minutes after I begin eating, but foods containing fructose/fructans distends the most. Distension is mostly from water retention, I have no flatulence, and it seems to reside over night. Safe foods like celery are fine, along with seeds, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, fish, and oils. Even low sugar veggies like peppers seem to be a problem.

    I’m not sure how such a quick reaction would fit in with malabsorption, but do any of you guys have symptoms like this? Could it be that I have a delayed reaction from malabsorbing fructose, and my body is hardwired to recognize problem foods and react immediately?

    The digestive analysis showed that I had dysbiosis, my colon is a little to acidic, and there is excessive production of scfa’s (despite depleted probiotics). Ironically, the dysbiotic bacteria thrive on fructans.

    Thanks, WT.

    • It actually sounds like you may not have fructmal. Flatulance – actually horribly rank flatulence is an earmark of this condition. It is the direct result of the bacteria in the lower intestine being allowed to consume fructose – which normally doesn’t happen in healthy digestion.

      I hope that you find a solution soon!
      Perhaps another reader has more info for you!
      :)
      AVT

  90. Oh I forgot, I have environmental sensitivities, skin problems (I think I get an zits after consuming fruits), insomnia, weight loss, mood problems, basically the works!

  91. I’m so pleased I found your blog, but I feel depressed. I’ve been lactose intolerant for 10 years, then this year I discovered I am gluten intolerant. Over the past few weeks my latest smptoms have led me to suspect fructose intolerance. I also have IBS, pancreatic insufficiency and diabetes. I can pretty well work out a good diet for myself, but it’s a nightmare balancing one condition against the other. And Christmas is coming! I even read that stevia and xylitol is ‘out’ with fructose intolerance. Oh crap! LOL!

    • Welcome!
      Sounds like you have you hands full! Yikes!

      I have NEVER heard of stevia being a problem for anyone with fructmal. It is my understanding that stevia does not contain any sugars that can be metabolised on any level by humans, which is why it is okay for diabetics.
      It “tastes” sweet like cayenne pepper “tastes” hot, even though pepper’s temperature is not actually warmer than any other food….. it tricks your mouth. Stevia tricks your mouth into thinking it is sweet, but contains no sugars that humans’ bodies can access.

      Xylitol, however, is a fermented sugar apparently. I have it from multiple sources that all of the “-tols” are BAD NEWS. Sorbitol, Xylitol, etc….
      I have never had a problem with stevia itself. The trouble you may run into with stevia is that because it is a BAZILLION times sweeter than sugar, pure stevia is kinda hard to handle. If you normally put a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, then you only need a teeny-tiny bit of pure stevia…. about the amount that would fit inside the letter “o” in a standard newspaper article… TINY. Some brands even come with teeny-tiny little scoops!
      Other brands however…. and this is the tricky part…. cut the stevia with a bulking agent. This sort of packaging allows the consumer to use one teaspoon of stevia for one teaspoon of sugar. So what is the bulking agent?
      Usually chickory. Chickory is also known as inulin or FOS (which stands for fructo-oligosaccharides). Whatever name it goes by, it is a powerful PREBIOTIC. A prebiotic is a “superfood” for intestinal bacteria. As we have “issues” with our intestinal bacteria it is generally considered a no-no to give them “superfoods”!

      If you wish to use stevia, you simply must read the label and make sure it contains 100% stevia with no fillers or bulking agents. Anything that says it’s spoonable or can be subsituted teaspoon for teaspoon for sugar should send up your red flag.
      :)
      AT

  92. Rose-I have discovered an interesting link as a diabetic.Gluten in combination with kasein 1 in milk…check out michellestype1 blogspot .com.I have been discussing type 1 diabetes with other diabetics at a forum for low carb high fat forum-and all of us are better without it.I suspect your ibs could heal and recomend high fat low carb diets.In Sweden the site most known is kostdoktorn.se and I think you can find translations to english there.Good luck!

    • Hello Marianne and thank-you for your response. That’s interesting what you say about casein, because I have been on a gluten and casein free diet for over 6 months now and something is definitely improving. I never used to be able to eat peanuts without my bowel reacting painfully, but over the past week I’ve been eating peanuts without any reaction at all! I went to the Swedish site you mentioned and I think I will try the low carb diet I saw one man talking about. I couldn’t reach your blogsite for some reason but will try again.
      :)

  93. Thanks AT for your very useful input! You must put hours of work into providing the information that you do on this site and it is much appreciated! My ‘symptoms’ are much improved since I cut out most fruit, xylitol and peas. Also I had forgotten that I was taking probiotics and stopped about a month ago. Just had never got round to getting more. What a difference! I also read an interesting piece somewhere online about Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth, SIBO for short. Very informative and probably part of my problem, so the probiotics are certainly helping there. I really am noticing improvements in various ways which at least makes me feel that I am making progress rather than doing my bit but feeling like I’m not getting anywhere! It’s been about 7 months of a gluten and dairy free diet, but I am starting to see improvements finally!
    :)

    • I’m so glad you’re feeling better!
      Probiotics is a very disturbing “trend” as far as I’m concerned. Humans beings have lived for millennia having intestinal flora that maintained itself. Now – yes, our modern diets and antibiotics are created havoc with this delicate balance – but the idea that EVERYONE should go out and start daily consumption of some arbitrary bacteria in Gods-only-know what dosage and only good will come of it…. it’s just ridiculous.
      I have recently been tentatively reintroducing yoghurt into my diet in small amounts – and I always check the label to ensure that the bacterial cultures (AKA probiotics) are the LAST ingredient on the list – meaning they are the smallest/least ingredient. Believe it or not, many of these new yoghurts have bacterial culture as the FIRST or SECOND item on the list of ingredients! In some fruit yoghurts they are even listed before the fruit!
      Can you imagine? A strawberry yoghurt that contains for bacteria than strawberries!
      And people are being encouraged to consume this DAILY……. `sigh`

      If you think Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is a problem NOW….. let’s see where things stand in a year or two.
      :)

  94. THANK YOU for explaining something so complicated in a very easy to understand way.

    Seriously…thank you :)

  95. I wanted to mention how much B12 has helped me, with the way I feel as a result of the fructose malabsorption and all the rest. But you have to take methylcobalamin, not a different kind of B12. If you have any problems with depression, it helps a lot. You may have to experiment- sometimes you need to take a lot if you don’t absorb vitamins well.

    • I’m glad that this is working for you marcia!
      I would caution anyone to always research the negative effects of taking high doses of anything – even vitamins! We are NOT health care pros here, after all. I have edited your comment – but only because it was promoting a website that makes money. And it’s not a website I am familiar with – so I am choosing not to send business their way until I acquaint myself with them. I’m sure you’re not a “spammer” or anything! LOL!! I just have to be confident about what is on my blog – since it’s my name on the header!
      Please keep us updated on what works for you! :)

  96. I recently discovered that my daughter is a fructmal. How did you discover the cause of your problem? Our gastro did not suggest this cause or treatment, I discovered it after my child’s Halloween binge. I implemented the diet all alone. We have no other help with diet right now. None of our “help” wants to help us. Probiotics have been helpful, some ‘bugs’ are your good bug as far as I know. We stay away from FOS. There is an intersting U-Tube video spoof about Dr. Aas, a gastroenterologist who believes your intestinal flora “bugs” should be considered a human organ, because they help with vitamin absorption such as vitamin K (potassium) and vitamin B-12. And do other good stuff. We do FODMAPs diet, don’t know if you mentioned polyols, the -itol ending sugar alcohol we avoid like the plague. If you haven’t searched FODMAP, you need to. I have to go.

    • FODMAPS is a great foodplan, as it casts the net so to speak. It is a little more restrictive than needed for fructmal, but as fructmal is often accompanied by other ailments – sometimes the FODMAPS diet gives even MORE relief.

      My story is written out on this blog under the page tab “My Fructmal Story”
      :)
      AVT

  97. I left a quick blurt the last time. I was being wisked out the door. I read a book by De Lamar Gibbons MD a physician who was also trained in chemistry who managed to find the cure/treatment for his irritated bowel. He was able to test his hypothesis with actual patients and by survey with very good results. The book is call The Self-HelpWay to Treat Colitis and Other ISB Conditions. I bought it on Amazon via internet. Read my review at amazon. It gives, (in lay person terms,) a good explanation about how malabsorption turns into a vicious cycle. It also gives the basic instructions to start a low-FODMAPs diet, though it doesn’t use that term. It was extremely valuable. I live in the US and even though I have good health insurance, we saw ‘so called’ the best doctors; we were given no help on diet, except that we should give our anemic child iron supplements. So no one need feel distraught over not being able to see a doctor. It just saved you the anguish of not being or feeling helped.

    Earlier Ariana ( I managed to read through the whole blog today). You suggested the importance of terminology, such as HFI versus fructose malabsorption. I agree with your expressing the need to clarify the terms. What I hope people in our “group” understand is that the main or the first treatment for our condition is to do the low FODMAPs diet (WT from above)/rest your intestines part, then later you can slowly add things back and figure out what works for you or not. I believe the term “low FODMAPs” needs to become popular and used terminology, such as “atkins diet”. The reason is we need to give it the power it has by giving it a name people can recognize. A low FODMAPs needs to be something that people with tummy issues can go to, BECAUSE going to the clinic, (at least here) will do you no good. In fact what could be prescribed may make you worse, or at best keep you sick. I am not saying to not go to the doctor if you know you need to, I am saying that you may not be pleased with the help you get. And as long as this condition is ambiguous with it’s ambiguous terms; it will continue to be out of lame stream medical advice. Where your Fructmal with pride and be pro low FODMAPs!

    In a nut shell my child had bloody diarrhea for about 20 weeks. After steroids, and other meds she was still bleeding. We were told to start considering colectomy or to start a 4 year stint of organ transplant strength immunossupressants, with the same side effects of steroids; facial hair, obesity, frail bones, acne… Why, why is low FODMAPs not shared? Do I really believe these well educated people have never heard of it or that they don’t know that MANY have found it effective. If we were following medical advice we would be doing one of their above recommended treatments instead of low FODMAPs. What a crime that would be.

    *Instead after trying glutten free diet, still bloody
    *Instead after trying fructose free diet, still bloody
    *Instead after trying “low FODMAPs diet”
    - in 9 days the blood was gone.
    - After 15 days on low FODMAPs my daughter said, “My poop is the way it was before I got sick.” NORMAL. She was on no medications, and still is not taking meds.

    Dr. De Lamar Gibbons said that anyone should have to try this diet before having their colon removed. Not so funny, he was right in our case.
    We are slowly allowing her to add some things back to her diet. She is doing well.

    Do you see the value of FODMAPs? If I would have understood/FODMAPs sooner, EVEN JUST HEARD OF IT, just as so many here, maybe my daughter wouldn’t have had to suffer for so long, and so many other people and YOU. We were putting her medicine in no sugar added V8 splash pure fruit juice. How about some HFCS in your gatorade so you don’t become dehydrated with that diarrhea??? We weren’t helping her heal, because we didn’t know how.

    Ariana, your blog here holds much more power than you may realize. I haven’t even had time to see your other site, but I intend to go see it. When I google searched, ‘What is fructose malabsorption?” I found your blog. That means you are on the front lines in making this information available to the masses. GI journals and Foundations like to tout that the”evidence is lacking”. I can’t give enough graditiude to the Austrailian people who are also working the front lines on this. Those who have given us as much info as we have been able to find. Those who have to cajones to research FODMAPs and state that there is ample enough evidence to make low FODMAPs “a real” and accepted treatment.

    I certainly don’t believe that my little girl is the only kid in this world who is/was crapping their blood out. What help are these kid or adults getting?

    IBD, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis is basically the severe form of IBS. My daughter had IBS symptoms prior to developing bloody diarrhea diagnosed as ulcerative colitis. It’s ALL of us. I can’t eat one bite of onion with becoming doubled over in pain. We have the same affliction with different expressions of disease.

    Something to ponder? What is the term for the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group? I think Fructmals are a group, how about IBS sufferers?

  98. Hello~ I was diagnosed with this last month, and it’s been awfully rough learning curve. Your blog has been a help to me! The process of finding out what has caused me such disservice was a pretty frightening one, as I was vomitting black! I still do not know why I would vomit black, however I have not puked at all since I have avoided fructose. :)
    Oddly enough I also suffer from tendonitis, I wonder if this is connected? I will post on that blog though :X

    • Yikes! Black vomit? Did your doctor have any ideas?

      This may fall into the world of TOO MUCH INFORMATION… but:

      …. had you been VERY constipated? If you simply cannot poo…. your body WILL resort to.. erm.. sending it the “other way” to get it out of your body. Ew, yuck, blahahahahahahaahhhhhh!!!
      Just sayin’……

      ANYWAY! Glad you found us!! ~cleansing breath!!~~
      :) :) :)
      Ariana
      …………………….. hmmmmmm… maybe we have tendonitis from all the home cooking we have to do? Peel, slice, peel, slice. peel, slice…… LOL!

      • the black vomit is generally an indication of blood rather than fecal matter. Still not pretty but slightly better.

  99. This is extremely, extremely informative! I just hope you’re right, because I’ve found sooo much contradictory information about fructose intolerance or malabsorption or whatever it’s called. I had a visit with a dietitian and she gave me several (contradictory) handouts. It seems everyone’s new here. Now, a specific question regarding your reference to the dextrose/glucose product above. What exactly is the name and brand (if you can say that online) of the product. I Googled it and can’t find it. I live in Iowa and my chances of finding it if it’s hard to find are…well, you can imagine. And for all of you who are feeling sorry for yourselves about this FI/FM thing, try being lactose intolerant too!

    • Hi mbax!

      I hope you have found the info you’re looking for! I know how frustrating that search can be!
      I’m assuming the glucose/dextrose product you mean is the “tablets”.
      Here the dominant brand is called Dex4. You find them in pharmacies with the diabetes supplies. Each tablet is about the diameter of a dollar coin and quite thick. In America, you also have a candy called “Smarties”. There are sold in a little roll of small pastel-coloured tablets the size of aspirins, wrapped in cellophane. Here in Canada those candies are called Rockets (in Canada Smarties are candy-coated chocolate bits a lot like Plain M&M’s).
      American “Smarties” are basically PURE glucose/dextrose and they will work as well. (Hey Canadians! The same goes for Rockets! Basically just Glucose tabs!)

      Hope this helps! :)
      AT

  100. What about nuts? I mean EATING nuts for FrucMal’s?

    • There seems to be a lot of conflicting info on nuts. I’ve never had any problems with any nuts – but each sufferer is different. Also, fructmal likes company – so it isn’t unusual to have sensitivies along with your fructmal.

      Try a small serving. Other than the nuts still RELIGIOUSLY to foods you KNOW are no problem for a week. If you have any reaction, you’ll know what it was.
      :)
      AT

  101. When I eat fruit – ANY fruit – my body morphs from lean and flexible with absolutely NO aches or pains OR cellulite — to fat, puffy, bloated, stiff, with dark circles under my eyes, very very constipated and fatigued. I also used to go completely and totally psycho whenever I ate the tiniest bit of High Fructose Corn Syrup — literally lost 3 days of my life to rages followed by tears and depression. It has always perplexed me. One theory was that the HFCS contained mercury and I was already overloaded with mercury from amalgams and vaccinations, but now I ‘m not sure that was the whole of it.

    Recently I discovered Fructose Malabsorption and believe it is the underlying cause of my many ills for the past 30 years. Various diagnoses were given over the years — heavy metal overload (mercury and lead, $30,000 to remove it but still can’t eat fruit…) — candida (went literally 5 years without sugar or fruit and did all the probiotics and drugs but still can’t eat fruit…). Hypoglycemia… not too much fruit now! I was even diagnosed as bipolar once, but knew that it was something else because I was balanced and felt good when I ate only meat and vegetables.

    Anyway, FructMal seems to be my problem. I found a doctor who will test me but, without health insurance, it is more than I can currently afford, so am going to go with ‘my gut’ on this one and just try the recommendations in this blog and from other sites for diet. You are providing a wonderful service with your blog and information and I do so appreciate it!

    I WANTED TO GIVE SOME TIPS TO THOSE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION AND INSOMNIA — also problems of mine for many many years.

    Taking tryptophan never worked for me (now I think because I was also eating lots of fructans or fructose at the same time…) so I turned instead to a supplement called 5-HTP. It is the precursor to tryptophan. I take 50 mg 2 times a day, morning and evening and it keeps my mood very even. One Warning: If you have the diarrhea brand of Fructmal, you will want to put the 5-HTP under your tongue (open the capsule and hold the powder there until it absorbs – tastes great so no big deal). It can stimulate bowel movements if taken orally into the digestive tract. Putting it under your tongue allows it to absorb directly into the bloodstream without going into the digestive tract. I have used this safely for many years. It boosts serotonin and mood beautifully. It was a godsend for my mother’s erratic moods once she developed Alzheimer’s.

    B12, methylcobalamin, is also a staple for me for both energy and mood. But because I am over 40 and the digestive tract is no longer efficient at assimilating these types of vitamins, I opt for the sublingual spray for direct to bloodstream potency. I noticed your concern about this vitamin in another post, AV. The B-vitamins are known as water soluble and you will pee out any amount unneeded (learned this in nursing school), so okay to take in higher amounts. It is the fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K) that you must not overdose as they build up and can become toxic.

    While on the subject of B-vitamins, AV, you may want to try high dose Vitamin B-6 and B-5 for your tendonitis. These alone can cure carpal tunnel so may help. The P-5-P form of B6 is most absorbable. Take a 3 times the recommended dose (am-noon-afternoon) for a few days. You will know within a week if they will help you or not.

    As for insomnia, about 1/2 hour before bedtime, I take:
    500 mg GABA
    50 mg 5-HTP
    3 mg Melatonin

    And I sleep like a baby. Without them, I am up all night, can’t sleep a wink. All these are supplements that I get from my online sources (I prefer VitaCost and Swansons Vitamins for decent quality and price, but there are many that offer these).

    Here’s an anecdotal mystery for you —

    One other supplement that I — quite by accident — found many years ago would almost NEUTRALIZE my emotional breakdowns when exposed to HFCS was TAURINE. And I don’t really know why! It’s just a common amino acid. All I know is that when I feel that shaky, out of control feeling come on after eating something with corn syrup in it (always by mistake as in restaurants or pot lucks), if I take 500-1500 mg Taurine (I put it under my tongue for quick absorption) the shakes just melt away and I feel calm again. So I keep it in my purse for such occasions. Again– I have no idea why it works, but it does, so may help others?

    Well, I hope my tips help others some because I feel like I have received a TON of useful information from other readers and from you. Thank you again so much for giving your time and efforts to this and for being such a great resource!

    from AVT:
    …I wanted to thank you for this detailed info in the form of an “edit” rather than a response and point out that supplements, and natural remedies and all that sort of stuff should be taken with the guidance of a doctor. I know it can be difficult to find doctors with the knowledge and willingness to help – but I want to stress that it’s THE way to go!
    Thanks
    AVT :)

  102. Wow, your website just blew me away! I am a 45 year old dental hygienist. I have been suffering all my life with varying degrees of intensity with all of the symptoms. Just thought it was constitutional, until this past year my symptoms really escalated and I knew I needed to do something about it. So while I’ve been waiting to see a G.I. specialist I’ve been in consultation with a dietician and I’ve been scanning the internet.
    The dietician has been helpful, but your website has been an enlightening turning point for me!
    As soon as I read the info on the chemistry, & the food lists, everything just clicked, it all made total sense! Twenty years ago my son was quite sick at the age of 1 year with the horrible celiac type stools. It took the medical professional 6 mos. to recommend no dairy & no wheat. They said he would probably outgrow it. He seemed to be O.K. with wheat at the age of 5, however he
    has never put on adequate weight. Your info has given me a lot of food for thought. I have been gluten free for over a year now, which stopped the constant diarrhea & severe cramps, but I still had all the horrible bloating . I thought I was sensitive to rice too, but that’s because I was eating brown rice! I have been following your food list recommendations for the past 3 days and hallelulia, it has finally stopped, the piranhas can starve, I am going to get my life back! I am still going to go see the G.I. Doc to rule out that it’s not HFI. I just wanted to thank you, you deserve a big hug!

    • Well Thank you, Anita!! What a sweetie! :)
      I am so glad you and your wee one are feeling better! I would love to continue hearing about your progress! Please keep in touch!
      AVT :)

  103. Thanks so much for the information.
    2 Questions:

    Does anyone have issues with white wine? I seem to have issues with beer and red wine?

    As for the Glucose (Dex 4) tablets. How often do you find that you use these? I eat out alot (business, friends, etc). Can I take one every time I eat out since who knows what hidden stuff is in the meals that I order?

    • Hi JCM!

      I’m afraid I don’t drink alcohol, but many fructmals have reported issues with these drinks. Try and find a gluten-free beer – they do exist, but many bars/restaurants would not carry them I imagine.

      As to tablets, remember that they only work when you’ve consumed a small amount of fructose – and they ONLY work for fructose – not fructan chains (which are the form fructose takes in wheat, spelt, brown rice, etc). It’s better to choose your restaurant foods wisely. Keep it simple. Steak, grilled fish, grilled chicken, potatoes (if they’re on your okay list), simple salad with no dressing – ask for crewets of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle these on your salad along with a little salt and pepper. Eggs and bacon with hash browns is a great choice if the restaurant serves breakfast all day. Avoid burger patties as they often have wheat or breadcrumbs. Ask for the chicken burger or salmon burger without the bun and a side of fries, many fructmals can have sweet potatoes fries too! I like to go to the local seafood restaurant when they have their all-you-can-eat night! Breaded fish is WONDERFUL when you take the breading off! Beautifully steamed – just not as filling, which is why I favour all-you-can-eat. The waitress brings two pieces of fish, I give her back a plateful of breading! LOL!!
      I hope this helps with eating out! :)
      AVT

  104. hi there
    I suffer from fructose malabsorption, (so iv been told after ten years of being in and out of hospital ) i get have intense stomach pains (so strong that iv passed out ) and vomiting… iv even gone yellow a couple of times and end up in ER. Since i have cut out Fructose, im feeling much better, but not 100%. My question if anyone knows, are emulsifiers and flavourings ok??? also is there any medicines or treatments that are useful…. (i do use glucose )

    thanks :)

  105. hi all,

    I was diagnosed with FM about a month ago after suffering for a year. I have cut all fructose and wheat out of my diet and I do not have celiac disease or a lactose intolerance. None of my symptoms have gone away. I am miserable everyday and until this year I was a good athlete and I never had any health problems. Any suggestions on how to feel better FAST! =) thanks

  106. Reading this was very uplifting for me!
    I have a question tho, about the (sugar/glucose-fructose) label you find on products. I see it all over the place like pop and bread. Does this mean it has a higher level of frutose in it?
    Also you said that you like drinking canada dry green tea flavour, and that is listed as one of the top ingredints.

  107. Hi A.V.

    I was wondering if it’s possible to still have a F.M.D. if one has had a negative breath test for both hydrogen and methane? Also, would you know where an “official” list of foods with fructose or fructans could be found? I am stunned that artichokes (for example) would have fructose. It seems one would need to worry more about corn, sweet potatoes, and carrots than onions, artichokes, kale, and asparagus. How depressing–these are among my favorite veggies.

  108. I forgot something. The breath test I did used lactulose. Am I correct in thinking that this is not a form of fructose? Thanks again so much. Your site is awesome.

  109. Margaret Magee

    Hi, love your website, made me laugh and cry at the same time.
    I was diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption just over a year ago in Australia. This was after many years with stomach problems and the dreaded diarrhoea, vomitting, wind etc. In the past I have had colonscopys, endoscopy and being treated for helicobacter x 3 times! My niece was diagnosed with FM and I talked to her about the symptons and decided to see her GI. I feel like most people, relieved to have a name for my condition but at the same time I feel I have been given the short end of the stick in relation to the food I can eat. I always knew onions and apples made me feel sick and and would not eat them in the raw state especially onions of any description.
    So my GI put me on a strict diet for 3 months and I now follow the FODMAP which has made a huge improvement to my bowel!! My problem is I live in Germany, probably a country that considers everything they devour as being “healthy” and good for you! The land of bread, sausage, cheese, apples and potatoes!!! I learnt how to say in German the phrases for no wheat, no onion etc but the Germans have an attitude a little bit won’t hurt…very frustrating. So my diet is high in fat, cheese, meat, chocolate (best place in the world for chocolate)eggs etc. I have just been told my Cholestral is way too high, good and bad Cholestral is not good and I need to see a dietician to fix my diet once again!! As I am not so good at the language here – English being my first language – I wonder if there is anyone out there can help me with my predicament. I now need to eliminate food that made my FM seem not too bad….no butter, eggs, salmon, cheese and the list goes on. I feel depressed just thinking about it…not that I ever have suffered from that, on the contrary far from it. I have decided to go to the UK to see a dietician. Any suggestions anyone?
    Thank you AT for taking the time to put this blog together, it has been very insightful.

  110. I really like this site.

    I self-diagnosed myself as fructmal abut six months ago. I’m 58 years old. I’m now living on steaks and taters, with an occasional stir-fry on the weekends (without carrots and corn). I can use half-and-half in my tea (one of those lucky people without lactose problems). Probably going to become vitamin-deficient, but old enough that it probably won’t matter.

    I’m writing in with a small observation, which may or may-not be of interest. Years ago, my mother showed me the fingernails on her thumbs, which had deep grooves going horizontally across the nails. She said they were always in the same place on the nail, which means it was not a damaged nail, per se, but something occurring in that part of the nail bed.

    A number of years later, I noticed the same thing on my thumbnails. When I gave up wheat about seven years ago, it did not change the nails in any way, they still had that groove.

    Then, six months ago, I gave up all fructose sources. I just noticed a few weeks ago, that the grooves going horizontally across my thumbnails were gone. I assume that the fructmal had created some deficiency which caused the groove, and that now I appear to be getting enough of whatever it is.

    The grooves had been with me for a good 25 years, so I am quite astonished to have them disappear.

  111. Enjoy your blogs very much, entertaining as well as informative. Quick inquiry please.
    I’ve been doing quite well if I avoid all the necessary undesirable foods but due to all the limitations, I’ve been taking vitamin supplements and suddenly realized, included in them is a Enzymatic Therapy Acidophilus Pearl probiotic and am thinking this should be on the forbidden list. Am I correct? Thanks for your assistance.

  112. Hi there, I have a 5 yr old grandson who we think might have DFI. At the moment we are finding it really hard finding things that he can and will eat.
    We tried Buckwheat the other day and not good, he got bad tummy aches and couldnt sleep at night.
    Does Buckwheat have Fructose? Thanks and you
    have a great site here :-)

  113. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your helpful information!!! I was recently diagnosed with Fructmal and am completely frustrated with all of the conflicting information that I’ve been getting. Your site is very informative and practical. (Which is more than I can say for most advice given by doctors). Has anyone had issues with the Fructmal diet and diabetes? Thanks again!

  114. Comment on Anita R. – I tried to tell her before that this blog IS a big deal, because it can be the first information people find about their fructose problems. We have seen 3 different GI’s- NONE of them gave us this information. AVT- you think we exaggerate. This WAS the 1st info I found about fruct mal. People are doing many horrible and/or useless treatments. OR just continue to suffer. Do you get it now? YOU ON THE FRONT LINES of this battle. The information you have here is WAY MORE than whimsicle, cutsy chit chat!

  115. There seems to be a lot of conflicting info on the web as to which foods are actually high in fructose
    for example: http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-000011000000000000000-4.html
    Got any tips?

    …….. this is the MOST bizarre chart on fructose I’ve ever seen!! The only thing I can think of is that they are counting the fructose molecules in fructan chains as though they were “broken up”… counting the pearls in the necklace as individual pearls, y’know? That’s -um – good I guess because a lot of sites don’t even acknowledge that stuff like wheat has fructose. However people have different tolerances for different fructan chain lengths. If a food’s chains are all close to the same length, there SEEMS to be a greater likelyhood that Fructmals will react. Foods that have a variety of different chainlengths within them SEEM to GENERALLY be better. Apparently, the diverse chain lengths allow a certain amount of absorption (that’s my understanding)- remember we are not fructose INTOLERANT, we can tolerate it fine as long as it gets absorbed.
    For fructose, its a quantity issue – GENERALLY
    For fructans, its a chainlength within one food issue – GENERALLY.
    If they are counting all the pearls on all the strands as fructose, the info is more frustrating than helpful for us.
    But….. I am just postulating here on how they might be getting these numbers, cuz they’re WEIRD…. AVThompson

  116. Hi, After twenty years of stomach aches, running to the bathroom, flatulence, and being told I am not allergic to wheat, I have at last a doctor that has told me its probably Fructose Intolerance. So here I am reading anything and everything. It explains the PMT when I was younger and the feeling so sad now in menopause. Life has passed me by I feel sometimes, worrying about where the next toilet is, and why do so many restaurant not have better hygiene as I have a runny tummy again!!! How stupid am I. Thought I had something worse, even gout with pains I have been getting body wide, but no, so waiting for the breathe test now, and hoping at last I have an answer, cos that alone will make ne feel better. Will the weight go as well, my diet is so boring, but nothing changes still too many kilos!!
    Thanks for your lovely website, it has made me smile with relief!!!
    Anne

  117. I simply want to think you for describing the issue in a non-medical, entertaining, but highly informative way. I’ve just come across this disorder a few days ago and it explains EVERYTHING I’ve been suffering through all my life (cramps when eating certain sweets, bad skin, gass, depression and now insomnia). I’ve always known it was somehow sugar related. ( I was the weird kid who refused birthday cake. ) I’ve read somewhere that it affects 30-40% of people of central European descent. Interestingly my mother and brother are also not partial to sweets.

    Thank you ! I can’t wait to be sleeping again before I go psycho!

  118. Thank you for your information of FrucMal. I was diagnosed by “accident” when I went to the Mayo Clinic. I have just passed my 3 month mark.

  119. Hi Thanks for entertaining site and info. one additional benefit I found for my daughter was combining a Blood type diet with the low fructose one, i came up with a few weeks ago after following BTD for several months, helps a lot – Dr Peter D’Adamo you may like to have a look at some stage. kind regards – I was going to email you some info but cannot seem to find your email address on here probably staring me in the face but i can’t see it.

  120. My daughter was diagnosed with FructMal about 2 months ago. She is 4-years-old. She was having night terrors every night and was having the occasional temper tantrum (a fit of rage lasting 15-20 minutes). The tantrums were becoming more frequent, which was very concerning.

    Since the diagnosis, we have cut out all fructose and fructans from her diet and she no longer has night terrors, tantrums, reflux, heartburn, or tummy aches! This so exciting!!

    I wanted to share two big items we were able to find that she loves…. Corn Chex cereal by General Mills and White Sandwich Bread by Kinnikinnick. I bought a panini press and made her a fried egg and cheese sandwich this morning. She loved it!!

    Thank you, A.V., for this FABULOUS site! I think doctors here in WA state need to educate themselves on the subject of FructMal and quit prescribing medications for symptoms! We were given absolutely no direction once we received the diagnosis…everything we’ve learned has been through online research. Your site has been so helpful – thank you so much!!!
    -Erin

  121. Health, Wellness and Living with Fructose Malabsorbtion

    I really enjoy reading through you posts. It has helped me very much after I learned I have frucmal. I’m still in the process of learning what my body can tolerate and it’s been quite a challenge. If I have one food that throws my body off, it might be days before I’m feeling like I’m in the clear again. Also, very hard to pinpoint exactly what it was if there was more than one thing consumed. Did you start with a simple basic diet when you learned you had this?

  122. My son has fructose malabsorption and constipation. He gets horrible stomaches and I was wondering if Aloe Vera juice might help with the hurt and maybe heal any sort of inflamation going on. I know I still need to keep him on a special diet, but we are working on that, since it is complicated with the constipation.
    Are there any other remedies to help with stomaches. It seems all the things I’ve used for my other child aggravate the pain more in my son. It hurts me to see him suffer through the pain. Sometimes, I wonder if the stomaches are being caused by something other than the fructose in his diet, and just wonder what sort of everyday things do fructose mal people use. All the sour stomach products on the market seem to have ingrediants that fruct mal people cannot consume, if they consume these things their stomachs feel way WORSE.

  123. Is Aloe Vera juice a safe thing for fructmal people to consume? We are now finding out that my daughter may have this condition, along with my son. I thought it was healing her acid reflux, but now I’m wondering if it is constipating her.

    I found some information on line that says a monosaccharide called D-mannose is present in it. The aloe juice first converts into fructose, then glucose to be metabolized for energy in the liver.

    Can this sort of thing effect someone fructose malabsorption in a negative way and possibly contributed to further constipation problems?

  124. Wow, this is the best info I have found to date.
    Can you believe that I was told when diagnosed that a probiotic (yakkult) would help the situation, and as I have been consistently having yoghurt I have not found the relief from my symptoms I thought I would. I knew I was missing something & hope that when they are out of my system that I shall have the GI relief I am looking for. Thank you so much & keep up the good work, it is much needed.

  125. Are papaya enzymes okay. Papain enzymes?

  126. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter that was diagnosed when she was 2. Wow, what a transformation in the last year and a half. We do still have problems every so often with her getting foods she isn’t suppose to. I went from a very sick and miserable child that was always at the dr for one thing or another to a happy healthy girl that hasn’t had to see her dr in almost a year!!
    One thing I have a question about is this….how do you explain to well meaning people who offer a sucker or candy? Instead of telling the she has a fm, we just say she is allergic to sugar (which couldnt be further from the truth). I always get weird looks.
    Also, what about school lunches, parties. I know I will be making her lunches and breakfasts but there will be times when kids will want to sneak foods plus, uneducated teachers (she is going to preschool this year)?

  127. I was diagnosed by breath test with FrucMal
    a couple of weeks ago. The info is conflicting, but this is by far the most helpful site I’ve found.
    Thank you for your devotion!! and making me
    laugh!!!

  128. Hi AVThompson
    Thank you so much for this blog. I read that they do not offer the breath test in Ontario. hmmm
    I also read that you are going to re-do your web site, someday, lololol.
    I just wanted to point out that certain links on your site do not work.
    In the Recipes section, ie:
    1) Recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Wheat-Free Mixes
    2) Recipes using Orgran Products

    You have such a wonderfully expressive humorous writing gift. You make thing so much easier to understand & I thank you so much for taking the time to share.
    I hope that your arm feels better soon.
    I am, and I am sure others are also, looking forward to your newer site.
    Keep up the great work.
    Bless You for Sharing, One and All!

    …. thank for mentioning this CheeMiss!.. as my lastest blog post mentions I have been focussing on my family as my father’s health gets worse (click “HOME” at the top of this page for my main blog – I should see if I can change it from HOME to MAIN BLOG or something – hmmmm…. I am trying to catch up on my fructmal stuff as well as RL etc! YIKES!…I appreciate the heads up!…AVThompson….

  129. This is a fabulous site! I initially found this site because my son seems to get very ill after eating fruit and I was wondering if it could be the fructose, but now I’m wondering if this could be the source of my Crohn’s disease. Is it possible to get severe GI, depression and skin symptoms from fructans but not fructose? I get very sick from wheat, oats, corn and onions, but do notice a problem with fruit.

  130. I must tell you all that I have been seeing a Naturopath for about 10 months and she has gotten my body back in balance and I do not have FM any more! I don’t know if it would work for everyone, but please give one a try! She literally saved my life after Mayo Clinic said they could do nothing!

  131. Hi everyone!
    I came across this site when I googled my symptoms, which I’ve had for the last two years, off and on. I’ve seen countless doctors and specialists and none ever mentioned fructmal. My doctor just retired so I will find a new one and ask for a breath test like you all mention. I was wondering though, when you first had the symptoms, were they constant or did you have periods where you felt okay? I’ve had periods (days to weeks) where whenever I eat I get instantly bloated (within 10 minutes of eating) to where my stomach looks like I’m pregnant and it hurts from being so full! Then I have stomach aches and diarrhea afterward. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t absorb anything because I get very hungry shortly after eating, just to eat again and repeat the process. But then after this period of feeling bad, I would feel okay for a while until the symptoms returned. Now I’ve had the symptoms for the last month and am hoping I find my answer soon. While I wait for my test, does this sound like fructmal to you guys? Thanks for a very informative, and fun to read site :)

    • Deanna,

      Your story sounds very similary to mine – did you ever end up getting tested for fructose malabsportion? If so, I’m curious to learn your outcome.

  132. Excellent stuff, thanks a mill for this.

  133. Hi AVT, thank you so much for this very informative web site. I have had active Crohn’s disease for around 5 years and around two years ago developed insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and inevitably developed depression. Last week I tested for Frucmal and lactose intolerance and tested positive to both. I don’t really eat much fructose or lactose at all because I’ve always suspected it might not agree with me but I did eat lots of wheat. I have read a lot about fructose mal and its effect on tryptophan but I was wondering if fructans cause the same effects on reducing tryptophan absorption as well? Regards Tim

  134. This is very important. Have you tried D-Ribose for Frutose malabsorption? My son can now eat anything he wants like fruit as long as he takes D-Ribose with it. My son is 4 and weighs 40lbs. He gets 1.5 grams (thats right grams) of D-ribose with each meal. The adult dose on the bottle is 5 grams/day for general use.

    … hi! I am not acquainted with this so I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about it! I am, however, approving this comment for post as I really think we need to all compare info!.. AVThompson……….

  135. Hi, I just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for such great information written in such an easy to understand way. I am the mum of a 3 year old that has had gastrointestinal and sleeping problems since birth. We had great improvement from age 1 on the Neocate formula and folowing a strict dairy and gluten free diet until he was 3, when we were told we could not get any more Neocate scripts for him since he had turned 3. A few months after trying dairy which was not successful we started him on Soy. A few months later he was suffering bloating, nausea, flatulence and sleep disturbances. After 6 months of doctors, specialists, dieticians, x-rays, ultrasounds ect we have a fructose malabsorption diagnosis. However his symptoms have continued and at times worsened. Despite reassurances from our dietician, I am suspicious of the soy milk. Do you have any experience/information regarding the consumption of soy milk for fructmals? (it also contains corn maltodextrin). Any thoughts or information would be muchly appreciated. Also, I would be really happy to correspond with other mums in this situtation so are happy to post my email address if appropriate. Kindest regards Jodie

  136. The comments here are interesting and informative.

    However, your brand of “cute” and “bubbly/funny” writing style irritates the hell out of me.

    Incidentally, the overuse of the simile “like” for no reason by the tee-vee, fluoride/aspartame brainwashed masses is nothing to emulate or ridicule.

  137. Can women with Fructose Malabsorption develop a vagainal odor as a result of the disorder? It seems everytime I eat something with sugar, I develop a strong vaginal odor. When I stop eating sugar, the odor slowly goes away. I also have bowel issues as well.

  138. This VERY incorrectly states that “corn sugar” is the same as dextrose, COMPLETELY false. I am extremely fructose intolerant and dextrose is something I use to get better, if dextrose really was “corn sugar”, I would be very sick because as you would know if you did more research, “corn sugar” is the same thing as High Fructose Corn Syrup, containing fructose. Your page also states that we should buy gluten-free food? Why? If it is not something that I cannot have then why cut it out of my diet? I suffer very badly from this disorder and it is hard to deal with, but this website also does not contain all of the symptoms. The correct symptoms are actually fatigue, abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness and weight loss. However you may experience the abdominal pain is individual. I just thought I would inform you of some very helpful information if you do in fact suffer from this and for anyone else who does.

    … Hi! AVThompson here! Just thought I would clarify – because it CAN be confusing.. where I live (Canada) is all I can speak to. I think it’s IS important that we all check terminology in our own countries. The sweet syrup harvested from corn has both fructose and dextrose (glucose). Regular corn syrup is not “high fructose” – the fructose and glucose levels are quite balanced (according to my understanding, anyway). My understanding is that since fructose is sweeter than glucose, the food industry often removes the naturally occuring dextrose from the corn syrup. This creates High Fructose Corn Syrup. A corn syrup that has an unnatural balance of sugars – extremely skewed to the fructose, as most of the dextrose has been removed. This dextrose is then powdered and sold as a separate product: Powdered Dextrose which – at least where I am – is also known as Corn Sugar.
    It has come to my attention that an organization of Corn Refiners is lobbying to have the term High Fructose Corn Syrup changed to “corn sugar”. I think this is an American thing…. I appreciate your posting as it clarifies a rather scary muddying of terms. :)

  139. And I am very sorry that sounded harsh haha, I am just very passionate about this because I have been extremely sick with this and I missed out on a year of my life because of it.

  140. Hello,
    I came across your blog when searching for Redbridge and FODMAP diet, to see if they were compatible. I have fructose, wheat, lactose issues, etc. but have cheated on my fodmap diet occasionally without horrible results. Anyway, I’m going to down a couple bottles and hope for the best.

  141. Hello!
    I’m from Roumania, my english is not to good, not good my intestinal problems:D I have Fructose Malabsorption, lactose intolerance, some alergies (eggs, banans, vanilla), IBS. I eat just meat, rice, potatoes. I’m starving because if I eat somthing else I feel very bad. What can I do??? Nobody help me with a diet, just tell me “do not eat if you fell bad after…”. I have this problems for 5 years (35 old). Some pills, some miracol? My life is over with this problems??? Thanks!

  142. Does anyone know if there is a connection between Fructose and anxiety or panic disorders? I have IBS problems and just started following a FODMAP diet. Its only been a couple days but I am already starting to feel like my IBS has been a little better possibly even some of the anxiety.

  143. This is GREAT! I was diagnosed in December of 2010, so just a few short months ago. I’m a teenager, so this whole no-pizza thing is sucking pretty bad, and the whole depression and lack of sleep issue makes a lot of sense now. This blog made me laugh and showed me that I’m not the only one dealing with this, and that it doesn’t have to be a tragic thing, and I can laugh now at the comparison that there are pirahnas in my intestines! Thank you so much for helping bring this issue into the light and hopefully soon we’ll get packaging with “Fructose Free” on them like people with Celiac’s Disease do with gluten stuff! A few questions, though.
    1. How long have you known about your diagnosis?
    2. How do you handle eating at restaurants so the whole thing isn’t embarrassing and complicated?
    3. When you do get stomach “attacks” or “episodes” or whatever you call them, how do you handle it? Do you take medicine, or just deal with it?
    Thank you so much, again!! :)

  144. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fructose-Malabsorption/197582330262672

    A facebook for people who suffer for FM.

    ….Just a note from me, AVThompson, I am not aquainted with this Facebook group, but I really think we should ALL be networking whenever possible, so I’d like to thank Melissa for this link!……

  145. This annoys me no end, because I’ve been doing an elimination diet — which hasn’t helped much yet — and nowhere on the net did they tell me “Oh and also take all fructose and fructose-containing foods out of your diet.” Thanks for the info. I don’t think this is my intolerance, but I want to be thorough (and by thorough I mean famished for the time-being ;-).

  146. Hi there,
    I too have just been diagnosed as having fructose malabsorption disorder, and am particularly interested in what you wrote about tryptophan. I have suffered from depression on and off over the last 5 years, and no antidepressants really seem to work that well for me, well never to the point that I am completely back to normal. I wonder if all the fructose I have been eating (and not digesting) has contributed to my lack of success with treating depression? I.e I don’t have enough naturally occuring tryptophan as it has all been cancelled out by the fructose. Or even that the serotonin induced by my medication is being lessened by the fructose too? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this

    Thanks, Kiri

  147. Hi, thanks for a really helpful website! Just over a week ago I learned about fructose malabsorption and thought my symptoms fit it well. So I tried cutting out wheat, fruit (except bananas), asparagus, artichokes, onions, and most sweeteners except for maple syrup and sugar. I was traveling, so I ate mostly fish, poultry, meat, cheese, milk (with lactase pills), potatoes, corn, and dark chocolate (with sugar). I felt better in a just few days; more energy, better mood.

    I’m confused about a few things: I read on healthhype.com that chili peppers and ginger should be avoided. Has anyone had good or bad experiences with those? with any peppers? I miss my ginger and hot sauce. I also would like to go back to my whey protein (isolate) shakes with stevia (Jay Robb), any comments on that? tamari/soy sauce? (healthhype also said to avoid stevia, green peppers, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and to go easy on legumes.)

    Thanks avthompson, for telling us what you DO eat – very helpful! I’m happy to hear about stevia and that you eat green peppers, balsamic vinegar, and beans/lentils. I like eating vegetarian-type foods and I feel like I’ve been on Atkins lately.

    I appreciate any comments/advice. THX

  148. I loved reading this. My son was diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption when he was 6 years old after many years of diarrhea, profuse vomitting and not growing or gaining weight. Many hospital stays, one with an ambulance trip to a special Children’s Hospital after he had blood in the stool from excess fructose (I didn’t know and was giving him gatorade on recommendation of his pediatric GI). We have worked hard on “tweeking” his diet and i had to learn a lot on my own since this information wasn’t as available 6 years ago when he was diagnosed. We continue to learn and i found this information very helpful. It’s very hard since he is a kid and wants to eat what everyone else does. Thanks everyone for all the great tips. We really try to balance everything out so he can occasionally have some wheat. We have found that mexican food works best. He is battling HPylori now which is another animal my poor 12 year old has to battle. He is still small, but I am hoping with his diet changes he catches up.

  149. Hi,
    I have learned a lot from all of the information posted. I have an 8 year old son who was just diagnosed with fructose malabsorption with a breath test. Most of the posts I have read above state that people have problems keeping weight on. My son is heavy. He weighs about 90 lbs. He has a very limited diet — he doesn’t like many foods. He is always hungry though and lives mostly on meat (chicken, steak or pork chops), cheese, crackers, milk, strawberries and blueberries. He has suffered with terrible stomach pains since he was 3. It started as soon as he stopped breast feeding. He has a hard time with the texture of food too. I was wondering if others have symptoms like that and if the constant hunger is a symptom for some with this diagnosis?

  150. Kate Vieregge

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to pass along information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It was not developed for fructmal issues, but other GI issues. I have been on the diet for about 2 1/2 months now and finally feel healthy again. Even after three years on a fructmal diet I hadn’t felt this good. The book I am using as a guide is Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. It is counter intuitive because it says to eat fruit…obviously a huge no-no. But, after a couple weeks on a very strict diet (following theirs and mine at once) I started to introduce fruit again (the lower fructose ones) and am now eating bananas, grapefruit and most berries without any issues!

    I know that this will not be an answer for everyone. For those people who were born with fructose malabsorption this may not be the answer. But, I acquired mine after a particularly harsh illness.

    • Shari Baratono

      We did SCD intro diet and low FODMAPS as our final answer. My child could not tolerate honey, apples and oranges, as SCD allows. Her GI has always been somewhat sensitive. Over time she has been able to tolerate more at least tastes of food. There is hope for the suffering. Don’t give up. Dr. Satich from U of Iowa emailed me after a comment to his newsletter. Stated it seemed to him that her GI irritation was due to an allergic response that manifested in her colon, (like a rash of the mucus membrane).The reactive food must be removed AND the mucus membrane has to be allowed to heal. Otherwise there becomes this perpetual cycle of on-going inflammation. Support reduction of inflammation and eat what you can tolerate. She has luckily been able to eat many things, there are foods she must avoid. She has her life back, we did not do the disembowling “cure” as recommended NOR put her on 6-mp a drug that increases risk of cancer and causes liver destruction, depressing immune response so she could die from mononucleosis caught at school.
      I see many here get a diagnosis of FM then doctors don’t have a clue how to help you. NOBODY’S health is improved with excess fructose and it’s harm goes way farther than GI and mood problems.
      Look at what Dr. Mercola has to say about fructose.
      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/19/richard-johnson-interview-may-18-2010.aspx

  151. Hi, I hate to leave this message here, but I see nowhere else to do it. How do I unsubscribe from these emails (i.e. stop notification of comments via email)? I clicked the link at the bottom of the emails and it just goes to WordPress.com which asks for a login/password. I never subscribed with any password, and it doesn’t recognize my email address. I haven’t heard anything from this website in a long time, and all of a sudden my inbox is totally clogged with incoming emails from this site! Please help!

    …wow! That’s bizarre! I’m afraid I don’t know! My google-fu has failed me! This seems to be an issue with WordPress. Perhaps (I hate to suggest it) you can use your email filter to mark them as “Blocked” (not spam, PLEASE!!! ~wiggly lip, tear welling in eye~) I wouldn’t want to be labelled as a spammer! Please keep checking back and I will be looking into this for you. I will be contacting the wordpress gods…I just need a chicken to sacrifice and virgin.. I think I have a little “extra virgin” in the cupboard.
    bu-DUM-bump.
    :)AVThompson…………

  152. I received 51 emails from you today and your unsubscribe system does not work, just leaving them going to spam is not acceptable. please advise or post a proper answer to this.

    • I am trying to get the problem fixed. As I mentioned, I have only been back for a day – I know that doesn’t help!
      I am working on it.
      Possibly you got a big infux because I went through a large backlog of “pending approval” comments in one go to get them up.
      I AM working on it! But I am not a computer-techie person, so I am appealling to sites online and to WordPress for assistance.

      AVT

  153. I want to recommend: IBS-Free At Last! by Patsy Catsos, MS, RD, LD.

    Hello, I posted a while ago about my confusion over what to avoid for fructose malabsorption. I was bloated to the point of looking 5 months pregnant for years. Well, I finally got the book: IBS-Free At Last! This book lays out the 5 different types of carbohydrates that can cause problems: Lactose, Fructose, Fructans, Polyols, and Galactans, and explains how to do an elimination diet. I basically gave up all of these carbs (I eat no bread, pasta, cake, etc. now, although sour dough bread is fructans-free so okay for FM) thinking I would gradually add things back into my diet. I decided to go low carb since I was basically doing that anyway. I started to follow Primal Blueprint (google it for lots of websites and info, similar to the paleo diet) and now I have no bloating or gas, and I feel pretty good. I don’t feel deprived at all. I eat eggs, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, greens (large salads with bell peppers and tomatoes), berries, citrus fruits, sometimes 1/2 banana, dark chocolate, cheese, cream, and whey isolate protein shakes sweetened with stevia (Jay Robb). I make delicious almond flour pancakes that are amazing with berries and sometimes cream. I use stevia to sweeten my coffee. I have given up all grains, legumes (even peanuts, (peas may be okay – need to experiment), but I gave up my beloved garbanzo beans), and processed foods. I avoid asparagus, artichoke, and onions (okay to use onion powder) and most desserts that I don’t make myself. I don’t get as hungry, so it’s not a big deal (like it used to be) if I skip a meal. My preference would be to eat starchy vegetarian food which I love like rice and beans, but so far (for about 2 months) I have been feeling and looking better on this diet. My clothes fit better (I may be losing fat very slowly), my strong cravings are gone, and I don’t mind skipping the cake. If I would cut out the chocolate and cream, I would probably lose weight faster, but they make it easy to avoid dessert. I know not everyone with FM needs to lose weight, but I would like to lose 10-15 pounds. Good luck to all and I hope this post helps.

  154. Marcia Hempel

    I also am trying to unsubscribe, though I think you have a great blog. I also had trouble doing it, and so am leaving this.

    • Again, I apologize! I will fix this as soon as I figure out how! The emails you get do not have an “Unsubscribe” option at the bottom?

      How frustrating!

      For now, trying “Blocking” on your email filter, but check back fo the proper fix once I’ve found it!

      Sorry! :(
      AVT

  155. I also received 51 emails at once, so I assumed there was a problem and simply deleted them. NO BIG DEAL, and I won’t unsubscribe due to that.

  156. Marcia Hempel

    Me too, if there were something to click on to unsubscribe… I can’t find anything. I’m getting lots of emails from you, too, all of a sudden.

  157. Yeah I received a bunch of notifications from the blog as well. There isn’t an opt out option in the email. I understand that your fixing this so no problems. You do need to have this feature though, because I believe it is a legal requirement.

  158. dominique-nicole iacobelli

    Wow, this website has been REALLY helpful.
    I have eaten gluten and dairy free for about 5-6 years now and I was told only a few days ago that I had to cut out fructose and see how I feel, well I was pretty cranky and moody as it was a hard adjustment as I usually eat fruit for breakfast and add honey to sweeten things. Today I am feeling great, so it is definitely worth sticking to it.
    I had no idea that so many foods could upset me, when I was heard fructose, I just figured sugar and fruit and honey, rice syrup etc, I had no idea to stay away from brown rice also, makes sense, I eat those rice thins and I just went and looked at the ingredients and surely it has brown rice.
    Thank you so much for helping me!!
    Awesome website, very happy i stumbled across it.
    Dominique

  159. Really helpfull suffered for over 20 years only just found out. Suffering now think it was a banana had this morning!

  160. Hello so glad I found this site. Let me know if this sounds familar. I was diagnosed with fm with a breath test. I went directly to the internet to get foods to eat. Found alot of different information from site to site. Went to a nutitionist she said she never heard of this disorder. My Gi doctor is no help and my primary doctor has not helped me either. In fact she just perscribed a probiotic, which now I understand why I have been sick again after taking for a couple of weeks.
    Is anyone with FM able to work? I try to work full time but it seems impossible.

    • I worked full time for a while. I was always tired and all I did was work, eat and sleep. I had no energy for a social life. So, it’s basically a choice between working full time or actually being able to catch up with friends and have a bit of “me” time.

    • We were where you are at 2 years ago. My daughter was sick (chronic diarrhea). (But some people alternate or have variations of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain.) We now do lowFODMAPS,and we started with the IntroDiet of SCD diet because she was quite sick. I recently found further, more comprensive information related to SCD called GAPS diet. I know SCD/GAPS is used for autism, but this is because these ARE gut disorders that further progress into other problems. That is why it is even more important to care for these issue. You can read on this blog about people having tryptophan goofed up causing mood/depression/sleep problems, because of malabsorption.
      Having absorptive problems affects ALL systems of your body. This may have been happening long enough or subtly enough that feeling “crumby or off” may seem like this is “normal” for you. When our daughter was very sick, (when she was having GI symptoms, inflammation in the GI) we could smell this toxicity in her breath, (bad breath). At the same time this affected her mildly behaviorally. Had she been younger (she was 9), these effects could have been much worse and permanent. Children under five need their GI problems controlled ASAP, because their brains are still making permanent connections and growth. GAPS diet information has given the best explanation I have EVER seen in 100′s of hours of research explaining why this is happening to SO MANY PEOPLE. (And it’s only going to get worse.) I highly recommend looking into this GAPS by Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. Her son became autistic and she discovered there was NO MEDICAL HELP for him just like all of us that have practioners that have no clue how to help us. She is a neurologist AND a nutritionist, so she understands the connection between absorptive problems, GI inflammation, neurological issues and how this can cause problems anywhere in your body. Not everyone will have the same problems. If your elimination is not working properly, toxins can and will build up. That’s why GI issues can easily occur with skin problems, breathing problems, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, brain fog, ect. If you care about your health, go learn more about GAPS/low FODMAPs/SCD.

      • Dr. Campbell-McBride was able to clear up her son’s GI problems so he is NOT autistic anymore. Because she was able to heal his gut, clear up his toxicity so his brain could be clear to learn and grow the way it was supposed to. Her story is a blessing to the rest of world she is trying to help. Becasue there is no big Pharma money or research into finding diet cures for problems. Loading souls up with pharmaceuticals is NOT health. Body’s heal themselves when given proper building material not disrupted by prednisone’s, mesalamine’s, cholesteramine’s, sulfasalazine’s. Our daughter was not sick becasue she had a prednisone deficiency, in fact the prednisone was preventing her from healing and growing. It made her wither and grow hair on her back. It looked like we rescued her from a concentration camp, AND in a way, we did…She is growing and thriving is beautiful, they recommended surgery to take out her diseased colon. We did not allow it, WE healed her. How would she be without her colon? Taking out children’s colons without offering any dietary help is very Josef Mengele of the medical profession. Not that I have any strong opinions about it!

  161. I have been tested twice for gluten intolerance, and was negative both times. (one was a biopsy). In fact, if anything, it seems to help clog up the works, (the whole wheat kind) and i like that. I am glad to learn about the yogurt- it really does wreak havoc on me. Too sad. I thought i was going to die the other day with kefir.

  162. i was recently diagnosed with dietary fructose intolerance and i know you cant have onions and wheat but what about things like onion powder, dehydrated onions, and wheat flour? is it the same thing?

  163. Is there a FM forum?

  164. I love this site!!!! My daughter is 17 & like most suffering with FM we are struggling. She has eliminated just about all the triggers, we are just wondering about…. mayo, vinegar, evaporated cane juice, whole grain brown rice cakes or chips, brown rice flour… all brown rice products?????
    I also get really scared when I read posts like the one from Linda, right above (Im sorry). Does it really get so bad that you cant work? Some times my daughter is so bad that she was basically home schooled last year! No one ever said that theyve gotten better… Can it get better or go away????

  165. Hello!

    I must say that you are an expert in this subject. I am dietitian and subscribe your post as expert knowledge.

    I have a question I believe I already suspect the answer: does Glucose aid sorbitol absorption for Sorbitol intolerance, as does with fructose absorption? do you know anything about this? I think glucose does not aid sorbitol absorption, but not sure.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Best regards, Juana.

  166. Linda, Juana, I diagnosed FM, lactose intolerance and IBS (4 years ago). I try to workpart-time “but it seems impossible” too. I will die because of malnutrision and sadness, that’s for sure…I’m strong, but if not help me somebody to tell me what’s the absolutely esential vitamins, mineral (or potasium, magnesium?) to injected (shot) that will be my end. And I’m just 35 old…I eat potatoes, rice, meat, but I’m stil so tired and skiny.
    Sorry for my english…
    Best regards for all of you!

    • My child eats potatoes, but cannot eat rice at all. Reducing your carbohydrates and adding “good” fats may help. Good fats are coconut oil, butter, olive oil, peanut oil, fish oil, and I’m sure there are more. Stay away from canola oil, soybean oil, safflower, sunflower oils, these are Omega 6 and my understanding is most people get way too much and this damages the cell membranes.
      My child was very skinny at one point, she looked skeletal. It was sad. Obviously you are not eating what your body can tolerate. A book called “Life Without Bread” also helped us. We watched our daughter gain 10 pounds while eating very little carbs, it was remarkable. She only weighted 50 pounds (23 kilos) at that time. 2 years later she is healthy and growing like a regular kid. She is still low in percentiles, but she went from being in 2-3 percentile to 35-40 percentiles. Before she was sick she was in 45-55 percentiles. So it seems she lost some ground, but appears she will go through puberty at a normal time. This was something we were very concerned about, and can be a problem for kids with Crohns and Colitis probably more likely from the harsh medication the sickcare doctors prescrible. Prednisone for example suppresses growth hormone, NOT A GREAT idea for kids, YET they “just don’t have the research” to help our kids. Because big pharma can’t get rich telling you to not eat rice or Karo syrup. I’ll refrain from obscenities, but they are in here.

  167. Your blog is MARVELOUS! Thank you. It explains my problems better than the ‘Its possibly IBS’ or ‘possibly Crohns’ that my doctors once bantered about. I have since learned that cutting out sugar and grains helped tremendously. Your blog explained why some other foods bother me too, ie, fructans!

    I have also learned recently that fructose ABSORPTION is also very bad for people and explains our current health epidemic. Fructose can even be considered a poison (if consumed in the quantities consumed in the last 30 years) And I’m not even talking about ‘high fructose corn syrup’. I’m taking just about fructose (one half of every table sugar molecule).

    This lengthy medical conference explains the problem well.
    http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16717

    Here are some snippets if you’d prefer just a quick overview:
    (09:10) Now, you all know, back in 1982, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, and the US Department of Agriculture, admonished us to reduce our total fat consumption from 40% to 30%. Everybody remember that? … So what happened? We did it. We’ve done it. 40% calories down to 30%. And look what’s happened to the obesity, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, prevalence, ALL jacked way up, as our total fat consumption as a percent, has gone down. It ain’t the fat, people. It ain’t the fat. So what it it? Well, it’s the carbohydrate. Specifically, which carbohydrate? …

    (20:05) …But indeed, this is true, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar are EXACTLY the same. They are both equally bad. They are both dangerous. They are both poison. OK?, I said it. Poison. My charge before the end of tonight, is to demonstrate that fructose is a poison. And I will do it. And you will tell me if I was successful.

    (21:00) … so they’re talking about soda like it’s empty calories. I’m here to tell you that it goes WAY beyond empty calories. The reason why this is a problem is because fructose is a poison. OK? Its not about the calories. It has nothing to do with the calories. Its a poison by itself. And I’m going to show you that…

    (22:48) So you can see that more and more of our caloric intake, a higher percentage, is being accounted for by sugar, every single year. So we’re eating more; we’re eating more sugar. And for adolescents today, they’re up to almost 75 grams [of fructose] per day; 12% of total caloric intake. And 25% of adolescents consume at least 15% of their calories per day from fructose alone. This is a DISASTER. An absolute unmitigated disaster. The fat’s going down, the sugar is going up, and we’re all getting sick. Now let me show you why…

    (44:27) Before the evening is out, I am going to show you that chronic fructose exposure alone, nothing else, causes this thing called the metabolic syndrome. Everybody knows what the metabolic syndrome is? OK, so this is the conglomerate of the following different phenomena: obesity, type 2 diabetes, lipid problems, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Those are all clustered together, and called the metabolic syndrome. I’m going to show you how fructose does every one of those…

    47:10) How much glycogen can your liver store before it gets sick? The answer is: any amount. Unlimited. … We have kids with a disease where they can’t get the glucose out of the glycogen, called glycogen storage disease 1A, or Von Gierke’s disease. They’ve got livers down to their knees they’re so big. They’re hypo-glycemic like all get out, because they can’t lift the glucose out of their liver. But they don’t go into liver failure. Because glycogen is a non-toxic storage form of glucose in the liver. So the whole goal of glucose, is to replete your glycogen. So this is good. This is not bad. This is good.

    (51:20) [Chart: Ethanol is a carbohydrate (CH3-CH2-OH) But ethanol is also a toxin] You can wrap your Lamborghini around a tree, or you can fry your liver. It just depends on how much you drink, and how often. Right? … So let’s talk about how ethanol is bad for you… [chart compares ACUTE ethanol exposure to acute fructose exposure] … So fructose is NOT an ACUTE toxin, but ethanol is.

    () [long term CHRONIC exposure of alcohol vs chronic fructose is then compared] … So the liver is going to try to export this VLDL so that it doesn’t get sick. Because when fat builds up in the liver, that’s not good for it. Some if it is going to exit as free fatty acids, and the free fatty acids will take up residence in the muscles, and you get something called muscle insulin resistance. So insulin resistance: that’s a BAD thing. That makes your muscles and your liver not work so well. Ok? And it can cause all sorts of other problems, like diabetes. Some of the Acyl-CoA won’t even make it out, and will precipitate as a lipid droplet. So there is your alcoholic steato-hepatitis.
    [later, the doctor then compares similar mechanisms to long term (chronic) fructose overdose, which create the same lipid droplets that plug up the liver and create an equivalent non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis]

    (57:17) …but ALL 60 calories of fructose are going to be metabolized by the liver. Why? Because ONLY the liver CAN metabolize fructose. So what do we call it, when we take in a compound that is foreign to your body, and ONLY the liver can metabolize it? and in the process, it generates various problems. What do we call that? We call that a poison. Show let me show you how that is a poison…

    (1:00:23) …and Allopurinol is the drug that you treat gout with, to lower the uric acid. And look what happened to the blood pressure, systolic, non-systolic, it went DOWN, showing in fact that uric acid is an important part of hypertension. We have a hypertension epidemic in this country. Here it is. Its the sugar.

    (1:04:55) [describing how NEW fat cells get created from fructose -de novo lipo genesis- ] So here’s normal medical students.. Taking in a glucose load, notice almost none of it ends up as fat. [Others] taking in a fructose load, same number of calories, 30% of it ends up as fat.

    ==================

    By the way, I found that Karo syrup proudly claims that their product contains NO fructose. It is 100% glucose (aka dextrose), so that should make it a safer ‘sugar’ to cook or bake with than table sugar (sucrose) which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. I will try to convince my friends and significant other who use and bake with sugar, to try this type of corn syrup (without fructose) instead. I hope to have good luck convincing them, since the following list of fructose mal-absorption symptoms also fits MANY of them very well … http://www.not-ibs.co.uk/about-us

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

    • Dear Tim, I have seen this video, The Bitter truth… and I took notes as well. Because the chemistry was hard to follow with my minimal chemistry background. Everyone should learn the basic information in that video. It’s cute what you state about Karo syrup. I had an old bottle of Karo syrup in my pantry that I purchase oh about 2002. The ingredient listed happily said High Fructose Corn Syrup, it was NOTHING ELSE. 9 years old it was not rotten or crystalized or anything. It looked brand new. I threw it away realizing I would never use this for anything. I should have kept it for the label. Companies will pay the fines to lie on their labels if it keeps people buying their products. Are they still playing those ridiculous commericials from the corn growers association telling us how fructose poison is a nice sweet poison to feed your babies?

  168. Hello Jen & Shari,

    My daughter also has FructMal (she is 5-1/2). I started a blog that you might find helpful/relatable – http://www.myfructmalgirl.blogspot.com She is doing SO much better than she was a year ago. It has been quite a journey.

  169. I noticed you are giving her milk, If she has a gut problem Milk, Wheat & soy protein sometimes work together to make trouble. may I suggest you also look at a Low fodmap, Blood Type friendly diet, avoiding anything processed and anything with high nitrates, My daughter is now fine after a year of being on the correct diet. But we still avoid wheat, any dairy and she is on a Blood type specific GenoDiet ( see http://www.dadamo.com )Kind regards John

  170. Hello AV

    Thank you for your faaabulous description of gut mechanics. My 8 year old son was diagnosed with coeliac disease 6 weeks ago and I rejoiced, thinking that we had found our monster and could have a happy healthy boy without the chronic pain and lethargy he had been experiencing for over a year (not to mention the attendant behaviour problems).

    Two weeks into GF diet and after an initial ‘bounce’ we seemed to have gone backwards and I searched for contamination high and low. Back to the doctors again. No answer and little interest (again). Blood test revealed high levels of iron and b12.

    Finally two days ago the dietician suggests we restrict fructose and perhaps lactose and I think we have at least part of the answer, although the information on the diet is contradictory and difficult to find – not like coeliac disease.

    Anyway the little fellow just wants to feel better and is willing to try pretty much anything – but its been a long hard road and I think the thought of cutting out apples and other fruits as well as yoghurt (used as a ‘special treat’ in our house) was a bit too much.

    So I told him about your pirahnas and their voracity and he laughed and got engaged and I think he mostly got the concept. Within a day we had a much happier boy with much less stomach pain which is such a relief.

    Thanks again – your description was very useful to me too

    Jo

  171. I just visited your site and I love the way you combined such ggod humor to the facts.
    I was diagnosed with Lymphocytic and collagenous colitis by biopsy in 1999. Research suggests that they are the same disease, but with two different stages. Since my inflammation was all through the colon, I’ve had nearly 13 YEARS of DAILY Diarrhea……more than 10 x /day.
    Until recently, I have had absolutely not relief from meds or diet changes.
    Then a few days ago, I stumbled upon Fructose Malabsorption and Intolerance. I began to research feverishly and have had almost THREE days of only having 3-5 Bm’s per day and very little ‘gurgling’, ‘sloshing’ and constant urges.
    I am so Thankful to discover this!!! Now I can eliminate the foods that contain fructose, dairy, gluten, and for me….caffeine. Leaves very little to choose from BUT it’s well worth the sacrifice!

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