Fructose malabsorption is a common digestive problem seen in people with low fructose absorption ability. Here we will discuss the causes, symptoms and the diet food needed for a patient suffering from fructose malabsorption. This disorder is mainly caused due to the lack of fructose or fruit sugar carriers in the small intestine of patient. As a result, intestine will get accumulated with fructose leading to dietary fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption. Small intestine of a patient with fructose malabsorption grabs less than 25 gm of fructose while it ranges from 25 to 50 gm in the case of normal person. Fructose malabsorption can be caused as a result of celiac disease, over use of high fructose corn syrup or due to overgrowth of bacteria in small intestine. Disease may be also inherited from parents or can be formed due to chemotherapy, and dumping syndrome.
Do you know what will happen to the unabsorbed fructose? When reaching large intestine, the unabsorbed fructose in food is metabolized by colonic bacteria to small fatty acids and gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. This may create in the formation of flatulence which is the expulsion of gases from rectum. Now we will come to the effects caused by malabsorption of fructose.
Patient suffering from this disorder is subjected to rapid bacterial fermentation, high osmotic load, poor skin, nail and hair. When not considered at earlier stages, it may even lead to osteoporosis and anemia. Disease alters bacteria profile, promotes mucosalbiofilm, decrease folic acid amount, tryptophan and zinc concentration in blood. Occurrence of severe stomach ache followed by constipation or diarrhea is another problem suffered by fructose malabsorption patients. Disease creates many ill health like vomiting tendency and bloating in patients. Patients even show signs of mental depression.
Treatments for fructose malabsorption can be done according to the test results based on hydrogen breath test and stool test. Following diet with proper medication is the best way to control disease. Patients must avoid the consumption of food items with more fructose than glucose. Fructose monosaccharide is sweeter than glucose but occupies an equal caloric value as that of glucose. Watermelon, honey, pears, apples, spinach, pumpkin and fruit juice concentrates are some of the food items which contain a greater ratio of fructose when compared to glucose. Unsweetened milk, yogurt and cheese are preferred than sweetened milk products. Favored fruits include berry fruits and citrus fruits which contain a fructose level equal to or less than glucose.
Patients are advised to avoid over consumption foods with high fructan level, sorbitol and xylitol. Sorbitol or glucitol, derived from glucose usually makes fructose absorption slower leading way to osmotic diarrhea. Pears, grapes, apricots, plums, raspberries and strawberries contain a high amount of sorbitol concentration. Xylitol is a substitute for sugar usually found in vegetable and fruit fibre. Mushrooms, raspberries and plums are some of the food contents rich in xylitol. Try to reduce regular inclusion of pizzas, cakes and biscuits in diet. Taking glucose rich fruits like banana in diet enhances the fructose absorption to a great extend. With proper diet and medication, fructose malabsorption can be easily controlled.