6.12.2009

Fructose Malabsorption

A new development I have stumbled across... well, new for me, since there's lots of good research out there about the topic. A bummer to be sure, but at least I have a name now and something I can try.

So two weeks ago, I started realizing that this whole bloating and icky (farty!) thing was getting out of control. It was non stop. Just ridiculous. I was eating NO STEVIA, nothing strange, no added nothing... and just disgusting, painful, horrible. Well, the difference is that it's spring/summer and the fruits are out! Yay! Favorite time of year for a sugar junkie like me, natural sweetened goodness... I was eating cherries by the handful and suffering horribly as a result. WTF? My favorite things are smoothies (mango, pineapple, carrot and spinach); fruits (cherries and apples); with dehydrated "raw" oat cookies with dates and raisins. I pretty much lived off this stuff all last summer, and just farted away, thinking the culprit maybe flax seeds, or sunflower, or whatever, with my raw experiment.

Well this time it was absolutely clear that the culprit was the cherries. It was so hot last week that I barely wanted to eat in the truck as I drove around; when I did, I often went for the cherries first as they were simple and small. Within an hour I was bloated up, farting away and embarassed. Not to mention pissed. I love fruit! I love living off fruit in the summer! Unfair! First sugar alcohols, then my beloved Stevia, now this? What the hell is wrong with me?

I stopped eating fruits for a few days to see what would happen. I felt better, looked better, and sounded better (heh). This made me pretty curious so I started hunting online to see what the hell my problem was. In a long and roundabout way I found dietary fructose intolerance (DFI) which is now called fructose malabsorption. I read all about it and it made so much sense to me, I can't deny either that it exists or that this may be the root of my problem.

I will save explaination of it here, since others have done such a fabulous job. You can check out what they say in these websites:
http://fructmal.googlepages.com/
http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/digestive-health/nutrition/BarrettArticle.pdf

And of course there are more, but if you think you are having issues I urge you to do some research yourself. The first website gives a lot of good and interesting links.

Well it certainly explains a lot. My steadily increasing intolerance for things over the years. Problems I had as a kid. It's even linked to depression, PMS and mental fogginess... problems I abhor and deal with constantly. I'll do anything to feel better, anything. If it means eating a boring bland diet for 6 weeks, so be it. This sucks. This is the worst thing you can do to a sugar addict, to a major sweetaholic... the WORST. Then again, it may just be the very thing that saves my life and sanity, who knows?

How interesting that I have a strong addiction to the very thing that makes me feel the most horrible. It has psychological implications I am just going to have to avoid like the plague, I have enough on my plate these days. It certainly does bear thought though, as to why people become addicted to the very poisons most likely to kill them. Or at the very least harm them. In love with the toxins that take you down.

I'm going to plan this boring horrible "ancestral diet" very carefully, and I'll check in and report how it's going now and then. I know a lot of this has to do with bacterial overgrowth in the large intestines... I wonder is there a way to reset the buggers? Some people have given their experience that the symptoms started after a bout of sickness that was treated with antibiotics. Yet some people report that probiotics make it worse... more bacteria to feed on the fructose you're not absorbing. How frustrating! It's likely there's damage to the intestinal lining or crypts that make absorption of fructose/ fructans no longer possible. Is there a way to heal that, restart things (the lining regrows every 7 days or so), reboot the bacterial flora in the gut, and start over? Lots of that wierd hippie colonic cleansing shit I guess. Ugh. Doesn't sound that pleasant, but hey... if it helped me I'd do it. First I will experiment and see if I'm barking up the right tree; I already feel better, so I guess so.

Cheers.

4 comments:

Caroline said...

Me again. This blog entry was actually how I came across your blog.

I learned about fructose today and it makes sense, seems to explain what I've known for years and have adapted to (i.e. very little fruit because of the side effects.)

Bananas are about all I can eat without too many problems, but I suspect that even they cause me to bloat out to the point where I look 3 months pregnant.

I'm eager to learn how you go, seeing as though you've already cut out sugar.

I wish you well. Thank you again for sharing your journey.

Paula said...

This is all too familiar for me as well. I also stumbled upon the fructmal google pages, and then did a ton of research on my own.

And like Caroline said, when I discovered about fructmal, I also realized that so much of the food I was avoiding all made sense. No soda, no apples, none of that for years. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

m said...

AWESOME! I googled so much I came accross FRUCTMAL last week. No doctors could figure out what was wrong, but a dietitian and I worked really hard and I go in for the breath test soon. Have to convince my gastro to give it to me. Thanks SO much for your blog!!! Glad to know i'm not alone!! When I knew for sure was when I was on my special diet and was allowed TWO CUPS of WATERMELON!! I really did look 6 mos preggers. Watermelon; what a mess for a fructmal! My coworkers call it my sugar baby!