Fructose malabsorbtion can be diagnosed using a hydrogen breath test, which recognises people who are unable to absorb fructose eectively.
Normally, fructose is absorbed in the small bowel. In fructose malabsorbtion, there is a defect in the way the body normally absorbs fructose. As a result fructose moves through to the large bowel unabsorbed, where bacteria in the large bowel can use it as a food source. When bacteria digests fructose, it will cause many symptoms, commonly including stomach bloating, wind, stomach pain, loose bowel motions and sometimes constipation.
The treatment for fructose malabsorbtion involves a specialised diet. Not every food that contains fructose can be avoided. A dietician with experience in fructose malabsorbtion can provide you with the necessary information to ensure that your symptoms are relieved, and that your new diet is nutritionally adequate.
A thorough dietary assessment and education with a qualified dietician is the best way of ensuring you are following the most appropriate diet for your needs. In the time before your dietician appointment, you may benefit from reducing or avoiding the following foods in your diet: Onions, honey, apples, pears, leeks, asparagus, green beans and wheat.
Please note it is not a requirement for fructose malabsorbtion to eliminate these foods totally from your diet. They can be included safely by balancing their intake with other foods.
Sue Shepherd and Amanda Anderson are Accredited Practicing Dieticians with an interest in nutrition for gastrointestinal disorders, including fructose malabsorbtion.
Shepherdworks dietician consults at Glen Iris Private
Dept. of Gastroenterology
Level 8, Clive Ward Centre
Box Hill Hospital, Nelsons Road
Box Hill 3128
Ph: 0413 649 537
Fax: 9727 5540
Level 5, 55 Victoria Parade
Ph: 0407 700 038
544 Hawthorn Road
Caulfield South 3162
Ph: 9595 6666