Developing fructose malabsorption now??

by (235) Updated May 09, 2014 at 6:47 PM Created July 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I have never had any gut problems or food intolerances. However, I did adopt a pretty clean paleo diet about a year or so ago. This has really leveled out blood sugar issues with much improved sleep/energy. Problem is, with the onset of cherry season, I realize I now seem to have developed issues with fructose malabsorption. Yes, I can eat quite a few cherries in a sitting, but now realize I will pay for it later with bloating, gas etc. This would have never bothered me before. I thought that maybe since I have cut way back in my fruit consumption over the last year or so, it was just a matter of trying to get the enzymes which digest fruit to awaken once again and become upregulated. Doesn't seem to be working. Now I notice issues with apples as well. What the heck? I clean up my diet and now have gut issues? Anyone else with similar experience? Can I expect it to improve?

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4 Replies

5071 · July 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

In many ways, Paleo is more of an art than a science. Your reaction is not abnormal and I don't think it's uncommon either. I went my whole life eating bread pretty much daily with no obvious "reaction" to it besides skin issues. My digestion was perfect though. Now when I eat non-fermented grains, my body is able to signal and communicate to me how it REALLY feels about grains. My intestines gurgle really loudly and everything is just "funny" down there. I wasn't able to read the signals my body was always giving off, until I removed those foods and reintroduced them. I was flooding my body with toxic food daily and those signals were muffled or non-existent because my body was busy trying to keep me from dying.

After, I went on GAPS and can now digest grains, even non-fermented grains, I found I could tolerate small amounts of them (4 slices of whole wheat bread or a small plate of spaghetti) with no symptoms whatsoever and no discernible effect on my digestion. However, the second I go past that "threshold" my body lets me know I screwed up. Fermented grains I don't really react negatively to anymore, even if I was to eat a whole loaf of sourdough. But I don't binge anymore, so that's not going to happen either way. So in summary, you have always probably had an issue with fructose (or FODMAPS) but your body was unable to signal that to you. You should also eat fruit several hours BEFORE or after eating a cooked meal (especially meat.) Some people might say 2+ hours, I'm more of the 6+ hour camp. Different foods digest at different rates in the body. I would not expect your fructose issues to get any better until you get your gut in order. It would be reasonable to expect them to get worse slowly over the years.

Take a Taurine supplement and see if it helps. I wouldn't expect miracles though.

This may not be the answer you wanted, but that's the way the liver paté crumbles.

28 · May 09, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Sorry, I know this is an old thread but if I can stumble across on Google, others can as well. People with Fructose Malabsorption (FM) don't have a "signalling" problem, they have an absorption problem, leading to a bacterial problem. Its not in their head, and its not about "reading the signals". If the upper part of the small intestine doesn't absorb the fructose it leads to massive bacterial overgrowth in both the small intestine and the colon. This causes gas, bloating, and osmotic diarrhea. People can develop FM later in life and its severity can fluctuate based off gut health and probiotic levels (though it really doesn't go away). People with FM usually have issues with sugar alcohols and lactose as well (google FODMAP for a list), in varying degrees.

Healing the but probably won't help FM very much, but its needed anyway. This is because all of the bacteria from FM damages the gut, making you sensitive to almost everything you eat. I'm afraid there currently is no "cure" for FM, just avoidance of FODMAP foods.

Good luck!

180 · November 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

THIS IS ME TOO! It seems as though I am becoming more sensitive to foods (ie foodmaps) the cleaner I get my diet over the years. Frustrating figuring it all out for sure. I really want to know the science behind it because it is very puzzling to me.

I am on FODMAPS now trying to figure out what I do and do not react to, and in the mean time using probiotics, dig enzymes, betaine hcl and bone broth to heal my gut.

11664 · July 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM

I believe the laxative effect of cherries is due to their sorbitol content, not fructose. Sorbitol is also gas-causing. This doesn't answer why you've become more sensitive post-Paleo, but just an FYI.

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