More about Fructose Intolerance; Symptoms and Management
People have different intolerances. These include foods that the body cannot digest or tolerate and thus may cause pain or discomfort to human bodies. These intolerances include; lactose, fructose intolerance, wheat allergies, food allergies, and histamine intolerances. Our bodies are built differently and will react differently to certain foods hence the intolerances. These intolerances sometimes are hereditary, while most times, they may develop even at an elder age.
Fructose is a sugar that is available mostly in fruits, some vegetables and even honey. Therefore, fructose intolerance is intolerance of such sugars where the body cannot digest or absorb the fructose in those food substances.
People who have fructose intolerance may have a hard time trying to keep a healthy diet. Since these sugars are found in sugary drinks and sweets, and fruits. Fruits are important for our health, thus affecting the life quality of people suffering from fructose intolerance.
There are three types of fructose intolerance
First, there's is Hereditary Fructose Intolerance that is detected at infancy. A problem with fructose metabolism causes intolerance in HFI. This kind of intolerance is serious since people suffering from this have zero to no tolerance for fructose. And in instances where fructose is consumed, it may lead to serious health problems.
For instance, it accumulates in the liver and kidneys; these may lead to serious kidney failure and liver problems. This kind of intolerance is caused by the individual's body lacking enzymes that help digest fructose. The enzyme is fructose-1-phosphate aldolase, it causes serious health problems to such patients.
Secondly, Intestinal Fructose Intolerance (IFI). It is also known as fructose malabsorption, detected at any age, young or old. This type of intolerance is caused by the small intestines' transport system, thus causing the intolerance. It is contributed by different factors.
For instance, lifestyle factors, genes combination, exposure to fructose and human health. This kind of intolerance is painful. Since the fructose passes through the large intestines causing pain and discomfort. Also, people with this kind of intolerance are intolerant to different kinds of natural and artificial sweeteners.
Third, there's the essential fructosuis. This kind of intolerance is a recessive disorder caused by a lack of a liver enzyme that helps in the breakdown of fructose. This enzyme is called hepatic fructokinase. This kind of intolerance is harmless, and people may have it without even being aware of it. Mostly they are asymptomatic and do not require any treatment.
Notably, there's another type of intolerance called sorbitol intolerance. It is caused when the body cannot digest the sugar alcohol in fructose. Found in some fruits and types of sweeteners.
Signs and symptoms of fructose intolerance
The signs and symptoms of fructose intolerance will differ from the type of intolerance. For instance, people with hereditary fructose intolerance will have more severe symptoms than those with fructose malabsorption. In contrast, the one with essential fructosuis will have no symptoms at all.
The IFI symptoms include; gas, bloating, diarrhoea and nausea. On the other hand, HFI has more severe symptoms. Since this intolerance is detectable at birth, affected people may have an averse reaction to foods with fructose.
Symptoms include; vomiting, jaundice, dislike of sweets, delays in growth and physical impairments. Also, in severe cases, it may lead to kidney failure or liver failure. Therefore HFI is a more severe kind of intolerance, and it requires treatment and healthy living.
Treatment and management
Fructose intolerances are chronic, and no cure has been found to heal them yet; however, they are manageable. For instance, people with IFI can tolerate a small amount of fructose. Thus they can try minimizing fructose intolerance by consuming around 10-15 g of fructose. On the other hand, people with HFI have no treatment whatsoever, and the only solution is to avoid foods with fructose completely.
Thus they should avoid fruits and sweet foods and still keep a balanced diet to avoid malnutrition. Therefore, fructose intolerance should ensure they maintain a balanced diet, avoid foods with high fructose, or avoid them completely. This will help them manage their intolerance.
In conclusion, fructose intolerance affects many people. it is advisable for people assuming they have fructose intolerance to go to the doctor and get diagnosed. An early diagnosis will help them manage the intolerance better, avoiding severe and fatal symptoms.