Lactose and fructose are nothing but the types of sugar that are found naturally in milk and fruit respectively. Your daily sugar intake includes those sugars as an integral part and our body normally has the ability to digest them. However, lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance are the disorders that are caused due to carbohydrate mal-assimilations (sugar metabolism disorders). Such disorders can cause gastrointestinal symptoms.
When cells on the surface of the intestines aren’t able to break down fructose efficiently then it causes the Fructose intolerance.
Fructose, known as a monosaccharide is mostly contained in fruits, vegetables, honey, agave nectar, and many processed foods that contain added sugars.
The increased consumption of fructose from high fructose corn syrup has led to fructose mal-absorption and intolerance.
Causes for Fructose mal-absorption include:
• High intake of refined and processed foods
• Imbalance of good and bad bacteria
• Pre-existing issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Mood disorders
The remedy for this is eliminating foods that contain high levels of fructose. Avoid the following foods:
• certain cereal bars
• certain fruits like apples, pears, cherries, prunes, peaches, plums, and watermelon
• Ice cream, candy, and cookies which contain fructose sweeteners
Although fructose mal-absorption may recover with a reduced fructose diet, it may also cause Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO. So to prevent this certain antibiotics, pro-biotic, digestive enzymes like xylose isomerase, and a modified diet may be recommended.
Depending on mild or severe case, following a fructose elimination diet or a low-FODMAP diet for four to six weeks, and then slowly reintroducing different fructose foods and the measuring tolerance, can be helpful. Customizing the diet based on your specific symptoms from foods might be recommended. Consult a dietitian who can help you develop a diet plan with you.
The insufficient lactase, which is the enzyme needed to break down lactose in your small intestine, causes the bacterial breakdown of lactose resulting in abdominal bloating and cramps, diarrhoea, gas and nausea. Children may also experience inhibited growth and weight loss.
Fructose is essential to our body to break down stored energy, called glycogen, into glucose, which is the main source of energy. If you have hereditary fructose intolerance, your body is unable to produce aldolase B, the enzyme that helps fructose metabolism. This leads to drop the blood sugar levels and also destructive by-products rise in the liver. The inability to metabolize fructose causes more harmful symptoms like convulsions, excessive sleepiness, irritability, vomiting, nausea and jaundice; babies may experience poor feeding.
Similar to lactose intolerance, fructose mal-absorption makes your body less capable of digesting fructose, making the sugar prone to bacterial metabolism. This will lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhoea.
So to summarize, your dietician may suggest lower servings of dairy products, lactose-free dairy or lactase enzyme supplement pills. To reduce the fructose intolerance, you must totally avoid products with fructose like fruit, fruit juice, honey, table sugar, powdered sugar, flavoured water and high-fructose corn syrup. So, ensure that you consult an authorized dietician to create a safe diet plan with all vital nutrients.