IBS, Depression, and Skin Problems in Fructose Malabsorption

31
MAR
There is one problem with the Paleo diet for oh, about 30-50% of Europeans and maybe 15-20% of Americans – the low starch approach that encourages eating more fruit and sweet potatoes exacerbates many digestive, mood, and skin problems.

You hear about it often. “I’ve made all these positive dietary changes and suddenly I’m more sensitive to everything.” After years of wondering about the same thing, I may have slowly stumbled upon one, of maybe many, possible reasons for this.

What Is Fructose Malabsorption?
According to Wikipedia “Fructose malabsorption, formerly named “dietary fructose intolerance,” is a digestive disorder in which absorption of fructose is impaired by deficient fructose carriers in the small intestine’s enterocytes.”

This means that our ability to break down fructose is impaired and so fructose molecules travel down to the colon undigested. When anything makes its way down to the large intestine without first being broken down, the situation can get pretty ugly.

Many people with fructose malabsorption experience digestive troubles such as diarrhea or constipation, rashes, melancholy or anger, among others. I myself started to see a connection to fruit and my skin as well as my mood and digestion. This led me to some pretty strict elimination diets. If only I had known years ago that there were just some specific foods I needed to avoid…

Discovery Through Experimentation
I’ve mentioned countless times on this blog that, while going Paleo initially helped with many of my symptoms, it wasn’t the cure all that I had hoped for. Even after going Paleo I was still so bloated I looked five months pregnant, I still had skin issues, and I was still depressed, among other symptoms.

Going Paleo did offer so many positive benefits that I had never seen before with any other diet modification, I was well convinced that some version of it was right for me, but those few remaining symptoms were quite a blight on my self image and physical comfort.

I am stubborn and so I experimented and experimented trying to figure it out.

Finally, about 3 years into being Paleo, I narrowed my diet down to almost nothing but raw fish, raw meat, fresh juices from celery, wheatgrass, carrot, and spinach, plus white rice. That was the extent of my diet for a good two years and it was absolutely amazing.

But I guess I was just too thrilled with feeling good; I wasn’t careful about making sure my diet was perfectly wholesome. I quit making broth, never ate saturated fats, was probably missing some B-vitamins, and I may have taken a little too much to drinking in my newfound youth (blush, kinda feel stupid about that). Whatever the reason exactly, I developed a raging allergy to rice (and several vegetables which I didn’t find out about until years later) and had to quit my miracle diet. ;(

After playing around again with your usual Paleo diet and never feeling so awesome again, I went super low carb. That worked too by god! No fatigue, no depression, no acne, no nuthin. I felt great. But my extremely low carb approach came with its own set of complications. It was hard to eat enough meat and fat. I wasn’t eating veggies because, like so many others, I thought I was allergic to everything.

Until one day, about 7 or 8 months ago, someone popped round the blog and dropped a gem of advice in the comments. Maybe you should look into fructose malabsorption. It made sense. I had figured out on my own years ago that fruit does me much harm. Maybe I needed to avoid it like I avoid gluten.

Now the success with these two vastly different diets makes perfect sense.

I eliminated Fructose.

While I had thought I was reacting to everything I put in my body, I had only been reacting to fructose.

Symptoms
Symptoms of fructose malabsorption vary from person to person. Many of the symptoms are IBS- like symptoms and, in fact, fructose malabsorption may be one of the leading causes of irritable bowel syndrome.

Bloating
Cramping
Gas
Diarrhea
Constipation
Headaches
Itching and rashes
Acne
Eczema
Depression and low serum tryptophan concentrations
Carbohydrate cravings
Colic in babies
Testing
The test for fructose malabsorption is a simple hydrogen breath test – the same test used for lactose intolerance.

The poor man’s way to test for fructose malabsorption is by eliminating fructose and observing symptoms. This method works just as well since there are so many symptoms associated with the condition. If relief of all of these happens, you’ve figured it out.

Fructose Can Cause Depression
Surprisingly, the undigested fructose molecules in the intestine does a whole lot more damage to the body than just some annoying bloating, gas, and rashes. I mean, as if that weren’t enough, researchers have found that those free floating fructose molecules actually react chemically with tryptophan – the precursor to serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters that helps us feel happy – degrading it and lowering serum levels. Without tryptophan we feel depressed and irritable and weepy.

Researchers from the University of Innsbruck in Austria found a high correlation to depression and women with fructose malabsorption, although the same was not found in men. Another Spanish study found that 71% of the depressed adolescents they studied had sugar intolerance, compared with 15% of controls. A huge margin like this should not be overlooked.

Lactose and fructose malabsorption disorders combined were found to result in an even greater instance of depression.

Depression more common in women with FM
We can thank Emily Deans, my favorite MD with interests in evolutionary psychiatry, for clarifying the cause of the connection between women with fructose malabsorption and depression. Why not men she asked? The answer is because men have more tryptophan than do women.

“The researchers postulated that estrogen made the big difference. Estrogen activates an enzyme called hepatic tryptophan 2,3 dioxygenase that shifts the metabolism of tryptophan from making serotonin (happy) to making kynurenic (not happy). Women already have lower serum levels of tryptophan than men do (which may be part of the reason why we are more vulnerable to depression in the first place), so screwing up whatever available tryptophan in the diet with fructose may lead to even lower levels, and thus depression.”

Looks like if you’re a woman and you’re depressed, you had better get yourself tested for fructose malabsorption.

Safe Foods List
Not all fruits and sweeteners are created equally. Some of them have more fructose than others, and so some of them are safer than others.

Foods which should be eaten in moderation only:

Bluberries
Straberries
Raspberries
Cranberries
Kiwi
Ripe banana
Pineapple
Oranges and grapefruit
Maple syrup in small doses – doesn’t work for everyone
Table sugar in small doses
Distilled liquor
Foods which can be eaten liberally:

Meat
Eggs
Milk – if lactose malabsorption is not also an issue
Yogurt
Cheese
Nuts
Olives
Leafy green vegetables
Broccoli
Lemons and limes
Glucose
Yams but NOT sweet potatoes
Plantain
Tapioca – same as yuca or casava
Corn Tortillas
Potato
Rice
Foods to Avoid List
Foods containing fructose:

Fruit juice
Dried fruit
Fruit concentrates
Melons
Grapes
Cherries
Peaches
Pears
Apples
Apricots
Guava
Mango
Pomegranate
Whole corn
Honey
Agave
Tomato paste
Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
Wine – dry wines might be ok in moderation
Not only do fructose malabsorbers need to avoid fructose but we need to avoid something called fructans too. Fructans are long chain fructose molecules and they usually do the same damage as fructose. The amount of fructans vary in the following foods so add after eliminating all fructose and fructan containing foods, try adding some of these back one at a time and in small amounts to observe tolerance. Many of these such as coconut, onions, and wheat are quite high in fructans and usually don’t work for any of us FMs.
Foods containing fructans:

Wheat
Onions
Garlic
Leeks
Coconut milk and meat
Jerusalem artichoke
Green beans
Carrots – tolerance varies
Asparagus
Chicory root
For a searchable database of foods containing fructose check out the website The Farting Pear.

Tips for Avoiding Fructose
The last and very important thing to know about fructose is that table sugar (sucrose) contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose. This sounds scary at first but interestingly glucose helps carry fructose through the intestines. So, when you eat table sugar the glucose part essentially holds the hand of the fructose part and helps it along. They are absorbed together so that the fructose doesn’t have to make the terrible trip down to the colon where it doesn’t belong. Now, if you eat a whole heck of a lot of sucrose, some of the fructose will probably escape down to the colon, unaided by the glucose, so don’t go overboard.

This little fact about glucose can be very useful when accidentally (or intentionally) eating something which contains a small amount of fructose. We can simultaneously eat some glucose (I use NOW brand dextrose) to avoid the ill effects of fructose. But remember, this only works in small amounts. If you decide to eat a whole entire mango, for example, adding glucose isn’t going to help you absorb that amount of fructose.

Solving a Life Long Problem
My daughter Evelyn had also been bloated quite often since she started eating solids. I never knew why. I almost figured she inherited my own bad microbial environment which I had developed after years of bad diet and anti-biotics. Turns out neither of us are in such a bad place after all. We just were fermenting fructose like crazy. (I had tried, very religiously, candida diets and anti-microbial herbs and probiotics to no avail.)

Finding out what had been causing my remaining persistent symptoms which the Paleo diet couldn’t cure was wonderful – it’s a miracle to not be stumped anymore. But to find out what is causing your own child’s discomfort is a relief beyond any other.

Evelyn has fructose malabsorption too. After all these years we finally got to the bottom of it. We have our lists printed out and hanging on the fridge. We give them to her friends, her dad, and school. She knows most of the foods herself but she likes having the list handy too.

Here is a picture of her one evening when she was bloated and very sad because she was constipated, juxtaposed with her new flat bellied self. Depression was never one of her symptoms… yet. I’m sure if she had hit puberty before finding out about this, that would have hit her too, just like it has hit all of the women in my family. Hmm, food for thought.

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COMMENTS
117 Comments
CATEGORIES
Digestion, Mental Health
AUTHOR
Peggy the Primal Parent
117 Responses to “IBS, Depression, and Skin Problems in Fructose Malabsorption”

Aiyana
March 31, 2012 at 11:05 am #
Peggy,

Thank you so much for this! It’s by far the best article on fructose malabsorption I’ve ever read. A few months ago I realized that eating fruit was the main cause of my bloating, acne, depression, awful gas, and horribly bad breath. I was pretty certain fructose malabsorption was the culprit and cut out most fruit (though oddly enough, fruits with peel-able skins don’t seem to give me as much of a problem. Like oranges, grapefruit, etc.). Unfortunately most of the symptoms persisted, though I did get a little bit of relief. Being sensitive to fructans has never occurred to me. I eat either onions or garlic almost every day. Right now I’m on the 3rd day of an all meat/offal/fat/bone broth diet (I’ve never been so not bloated in my life! It’s a wonderful relief), but when I start reintroducing more foods in a week or so I will definitely keep this post in mind. Thanks again!!!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
March 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm #
You’re welcome! I’d love to hear how it goes. Garlic and onions are such an unsuspecting culprit. Isn’t an absolutely amazing feeling to suddenly not be bloated anymore? I love to hear stories like yours. 🙂

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Jade
March 31, 2012 at 11:51 am #
Hi Peggy,

I’m glad you did this post, because it seems that all sorts of gut dysbiosis problems seem to accompany the Paleo diet. I’m very happy you and Evelyn have figured out your problem!

For others with no such luck, however, I cannot recommend the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome more. If you’re cycling allergies and intolerances, bloated and miserable, or know already that your gut flora is out of balance, eliminating fructose isn’t always enough. Sometimes it can accompany, and even cover up, other problems with malabsorption.

You say you were concerned that you might have passed on your bad microbial environment to her, and that’s possible. But it is far from irreparable! I sound like an advertisement, I know, but I have found major success on the GAPS diet (even relief from celiac) and would very much like to see your thoughts on it, if you have time to read it.

Yes, yes… tl;dr. Thanks!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
March 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm #
Jade,

I tried specific carbohydrate and candida diets for a long long time years ago. For me it was the other way around. Candida diets and specific carbohydrate diets did nothing for me. Indeed, I agree that is a another source of trouble for people and they should investigate that too. Fructose malabsorption is a lesser known issue than specific carbohydrate and candida diets so I thought it deserved some exposure.

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Sarah
March 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm #
Interesting post. My husband has celiac and we suspect he may also have fructose malabsorption. He was tested for it, so we’re just waiting for the results. The change in diet has helped a bit it seems. Our daughter, who is not yet two, follows a more-or-less paleo (at minimum gluten-free) diet with me. Food for thought, as you say. I’ll be keeping an eye out with her.

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Pancit
March 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm #
Wow, I can’t believe garlic and onions are on the list!!! I have eaten an all-meat diet and STILL didn’t know why I felt like crap. I must try eliminating the garlic and onions. Thank you for your very informative post!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
March 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm #
I know the feeling! There was a time when I too was wondering why in the world I had problems eating all meat. I wasn’t actually eating all meat. Garlic and onions are often killers for us fructose malabsorbers.

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Dawn
March 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm #
Are the symptoms the same for kiddos as they are for adults? Did you notice Evelyn craving fruit in abundance at times then being nearly incosolable? I’m trying to help my daughter (1.5) who is a VERY fit kid but has a very round belly. I wonder at times if it is bloating or normal for an otherwise lean child to have such a round belly (she looks like the first pic of Evelyn almost all the time but, then again, she is a toddler…). I’m not sure if I am overreacting or not, any thoughts?

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 1, 2012 at 7:06 am #
Dawn, try everything. Bloating isn’t normal. I too didn’t know what to make of my little toddler with the big belly. But it just went on and on and other kids didn’t have it. Evelyn also had gas and smelly feet. She did crave fruit quite a bit over the years but then she also didn’t eat grains usually so it could have just been a need for carbs so it’s kind of hard to say. Evelyn was always a really easy kid. Even when she clearly felt horrible, she wasn’t much of a fighter. (Except when we went to Colombia for a month and she practically lived on wheat. OMG that was horrible!)

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Dawn
April 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm #
Neither is B (a fighter). She is usually really easy going unless she is teething (and right now she is entering into the peak of the sensitive period for order aka the terrible twos). I’m going to try limiting her fruit I think (maybe a week without any since she would lvoe to be a fruitarian) and see if her symptoms reduce. We already eat very little to no gluten containing foods and limit dairy to fermented kinds. IDK. Thanks for your info though! I had pondered whether or not she could have this issue when she was younger and I was looking into the cause for all of her food intollerances so it may be time to try again.

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Richie
June 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm #
I have a 2 year old daughter that not only LOVES fruit… she LOVES FOOD! She can out eat anyone. She has had issues with food from the get go… excessive spit ups, diaper rash, etc… In the process of getting my health coach certification, I learned about fructose malabsorption.. and realized that was the cause of my IBS symptoms and depression. The cleaner my diet became, it seemed like I became more sensitive to fructose. I would literally turn into a B***c within an hour or two after eating too much fructose or fructans. I learned that most of the time, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, so I started to pay attention to my daughter’s diet. I noticed her moods changing after eating things like apple pieces or applesauce (loaded with fructose). We have given up gluten and most foods containing fructose. I keep my eye on her moods, but sometimes it is hard to tell if it is the foods or her just being two that causes her moods to change. I HATE food diaries with a passion, but I have started one to help me keep track of what she is eating and her moods and physical reactions. This is helping. I have noticed that eliminating her one cup of milk in the morning seems to help as well. I just want you to know that you are not alone. It is so hard when they can’t tell you how they feel and when some reactions can take up to 48 hours! Please keep us updated. We could learn from each other!

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Andrea
April 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm #
Hmmm. I think I’ll be eliminating onions and garlic starting now.

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Fox Peterson
April 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm #
You know, this may be the issue I’m dealing with too. I notice that things like, say, cornstarch in advil or the erythitol that is mixed in toothpaste make me awful bloated and constipated, and really only a meat and fats diet is tolerable… but I’ve never been one for sweets that were not fructose (or other ingredients listed in the “nos” area)-based. I always thought I just had a million allergies– but maybe I just have one rather encompassing one. This would be a very liberating thought– instead of tracking what I CAN’T have, to simply knowing fructose/fructans are the culprit and learnng what I CAN have. what a nice mind game, too.

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Pancit
April 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm #
Would you consider extra virgin olive oil safe? I usually cook my meat in ghee and sprinkle liberal amount of garlic and onion powder! :-/

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 2, 2012 at 10:15 am #
There are no fructans in olives so you’re good with olive oil. 🙂

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Lora
April 2, 2012 at 5:40 am #
I’m so grateful for this blog Peggy, you have really opened my eyes to the fact that one solution does not fit all even when it comes to healthy diets and living. I would never have considered before that someone could be allergic/sensitive to seemingly innocuous fruits and veg, and therefore doing themselves more damage by eating them. You really give another perspective on it and have given me cause for more thinking and experimentation for my own problems. I’m definitely going to have an IgG test in the future now – I probably should have had one a long time ago.

Thanks for all the insight you post!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 2, 2012 at 10:13 am #
You’re welcome Lora! It still baffles too me how something so perfect as a simple fruit or a vegetable could be harmful. I am sure this is the result of a body gone wrong due to generations of bad diet both affecting our genes and our microbial environment. Once we’ve gotten to such a bad place, solving the problem isn’t simple. Simply eliminating all unnatural foods and toxins, and eating and living very cleanly, didn’t do the trick for me and many others. It’s sad to say, but for many of us the road to optimum health isn’t quite so simple. Thank god for blogs right? All of the people experimenting both on themselves and in labs and publishing it are helping those of us who are willing to persevere get out of this mess!

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Esmée La FLeur
April 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm #
Dear Peggy,

I suspect that celiac is often a cause of FM due to damaged villi, though I am sure other things can cause it also such as a severe parasite or bacterial infection in the small bowel where fructose is absorbed.

It could also simply be due genetic variation through the medical community says it is not. I am not convinced, as it does seem to run in families (based on the people I have talked with who have it).

I have had problems with fructose my whole life though I did not know it, and it got considerably worse after I became a vegan and started to overload my body with fructose.

Like you and others who have commented here, I also seemed to be allergic to everything under the sun, but practically everything on a vegan diet has loads of fructose.

I am now eating a diet of rice and leafy greens and have no bloating, no low blood, sugar, no irritibility, no aggitation, no impatience, no brain fog, etc.

I cannot believe the answer was so simple and yet none of the doctors I have consulted over the years ever came even remotely close to implicating fructose as the main culprit in all of my problems with food.

I am very grateful to finally have this knowledge, but it would have been nice if I did not have to suffer for 25 years before figuring it out.

Your daughter is very, very fortunate to know what she needs to avoid to feel good as such a young age, and she is blessed to have a mother who kept searching.

I am still not sure if I have FM or HFI (Hereditary Fructose Intolerance) or a combination of both, as my tolerance for fructose is extremely low (much lower than what most FM-ers can eat, but not quite as limited as what HFI-ers can tolerate which is less than 2 gm of fructose per day without symptoms).

I have been tested for HFI, but am still awaiting the results. I may have one copy of the HFI gene in combination with FM due to celiac and/or a hookworm infection that went undiagnosed for 18 years). But, either way, I feel so much better since eliminating most all fructose from my diet that I don’t really care what the test shows at this point.

I am glad that you found the information I posted to be helpful.

Blessings, Esmée

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Esmée La Fleur
April 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm #
Sorry about the typos. I don’t see a way to edit my reply.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 10, 2012 at 9:36 am #
I don’t know Esmee. My daughter doesn’t have damaged villi (unless she was born with a defect!) and she cannot tolerate fructose. She has also never had HFCS, she didn’t eat any grains until she was 2 and then only white rice, she was breastfed for 1 1/2 years, didn’t eat sugar until she was 3, etc etc. So why can’t she absorb fructose? I don’t know the answer. I don’t presume to know the cause. I am sure there is a reason but I don’t know it.

Likewise, my small intestines have not seen gluten in over 7 years. So why am I still so incredibly unable to absorb fructose? For me you would think that a lifetime of malnutrition, anti-biotics, sugar, bla bla bla did some serious, maybe permanent damage. But then, what about Evelyn? Maybe we actually have HFI and don’t even know it!

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Esmée La Fleur
April 10, 2012 at 10:46 am #
I completely agree with you. That is why I say that I am NOT convinced that there is no genetic component to fructose malabsorption. It may be that people with FM are more susceptible to other gut problems like disbiosis and parasite infections BECAUSE the fructose they are ingesting is creating an evironment which is conducive to these critters. I definitely do not presume to know the all the whys and wheretofores of the problem, so I appologise if I came across that way. I was just throughing out ideas.

By the way, there is something wrong with the way your blog notifies followers by email of new comments. When I click on the link provided in the email message, it tells me that the link no longer exists, and then I have to search around your site to find the original post and then the new comment. I am not sure it is something you can fix, but it is a serious pain in the patuka. 😮 P

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 10, 2012 at 11:51 am #
Oh no offense taken at all! We are all speculating about the causes. It’s not that I don’t think celiac could be a cause for some people, as it clearly disrupts the microbial environment and damages intestinal tissue. So celiacs may suffer from it more than others but is that the ultimate cause? Anyway, speculating in comments often is dry and cold so no worries. 🙂

FM could certainly be the cause of other digestive ills, though, as you say, because of an overgrowth of pathogens eating up the undigested fructose. Maybe FM is responsible for celiac!

Maybe FM is actually a natural advantage since it presumably would keep people from eating too much fruit, hence protecting their livers.

Sometimes I think it is silly just how much doctors and scientists presume to know. Look at it from another angle and you get a totally different answer.

(I will see if I can figure out what is going on with the comment emails. Thanks for letting me know!)

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Emily
April 2, 2012 at 8:27 am #
So no garlic or onion as seasoning? What about garlic or onion powder? I tend to use a lot of chopped garlic (usually jarred in water) when cooking. I do notice I am more bloated when I eat a lot of fruit. I might have to look into this.

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Corey
April 2, 2012 at 9:05 am #
I need a garlic/ onion replacement! I don’t function well without them!

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Connie Landry
April 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm #
I have tested positive for FM. I bought the only two books on the topic I could find. I read everything on the internet I could find and my doctor sent me to a registered dietician. I learned that you can cook with onions. They should be whole or in large enough sections to pull out. Then your food has the flavor but you do not digest the onions.

When the breath test is given you get a number. Mine was very high, significantly higher than any patient that had been tested in that office. (three months ago) So I went on an elimination diet and only add one food every two weeks. I haven’t tried cooking with onion in this way yet, so I can’t tell you how it worked for me. I know I wouldn’t be able to tolerate onion or garlic powder.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 8, 2012 at 9:27 am #
Thanks Connie. I have read that about onion as well. Onion juice would definitely be a tasty and nutritious addition to many dishes, though I haven’t tried it ey either…

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 2, 2012 at 10:17 am #
Emily and Corey,

I wish I could say garlic and onion powder are ok! Try them out and see how you do with them. They may be ok for you in small amounts.

I quit eating garlic and onion powder about six months ago. It’s a sad thing but at least my tummy is happier!

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Meghan
April 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #
I’ve been on quite the food journey for two years now. Really just cutting out a lot of processed/junk foods (because I thought that was the key to being healthy). But over the last six months, it’s taken a more serious turn and I’ve realized just how crucial GOOD food is for our bodies. My eyes have been opened to the dangers of too many grains, wheat, etc. Even like you mentioned, fruits can turn on us if our bodies can’t handle them. It’s a day-by-day experiment.

My issue is bloating. Just bloating. I don’t have any other symptoms listed above, but that is one I can’t seem to get past. Some days are better than others, but my average weight is around 112 (I’m 5’2 and it took me forever to get over 100lbs) yet over the last six-eight months, I’ve slowly gained 7 pounds. It’s a little odd to see such a high number (for me, please keep that in mind) on the scale. I believe some of it is due to the exercising I’ve been doing regularly, so there’s muscle build up, but it seems to have all gone to my stomach. No where else. And it makes me self conscious because I’m so thin every where else. (I mean, it didn’t even go to my boobs, which would’ve been nice!)

So I’ve slowly been cutting things out to see if I can figure out what’s causing the bloating. Although there is definitely a layer of fat around my middle, the bloat is there too and I’m so tired of it. Any suggestions would mean so much! This blog is so inspiring and I love your posts!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm #
Thanks Meghan! I know what you mean. Bloating was one of the few remaining symptoms I had for a long time too. If you’ve been there, severely bloated day after day, you know how frustrating and embarrassing it is. You feel like you just look ridiculous no matter how great the rest of you looks. And that’s aside from how icky it feels physically! I should do another whole post just on bloating. There are so many possible causes for it – fructose malabsorption being one of them. But then there is celiac, yeast overgrowth, processed foods, gut pathogens. Try eliminating the fructose and fructans and see if that helps. I’m curious, though, about your diet. If you also have a lot of belly fat, you might be secreting too much cortisol and insulin. This would definitely happen if you had FM or for various other reasons.

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Meghan
April 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm #
Hi Peggy! Thanks for your quick response. Yes, bloating is extremely frustrating and embarrassing. I don’t know what you would consider “a lot” of belly fat – to me, it’s a lot. But my friends don’t even notice. The few times I’ve mentioned how I’ve put on a little weight around the middle, they don’t believe me and tell me I’m crazy. My husband has never mentioned it and when I do, he also looks at me like I’m crazy. But going up a pants size and not seeing abs anymore (plus the roll I have when I sit) tells me things have changed. Not to mention the scale. I’d say I probably gained around 3-4 inches. Yet I wear a size 4/small in all pants/shorts. So hopefully this gives you an idea of what I’m dealing with. I can hide it pretty well, but it’s definitely there and it’s definitely time for it to LEAVE. 🙂 I was diagnosed with an insulin issue last fall…. I basically need to eat every few hours (lots of protein) to keep things balanced. But as I’ve been experimenting, I’ve found that by cutting out what I call “fillers” (breads, crackers, chips, etc, even if they’re organic does not mean they are healthy!) and incorporating more nutritious foods (veggies, meats, cheese, etc) I not only stay full longer, but CRAVE those yummy foods.

Reading your blog provides so much encouragement. I know you are cutting back, but just know you’ve reached a lot of people with your words and journey!

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Ashton
April 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm #
Hey Peggy,
Your determination to feel better is inspiring. You have been helping me narrow down my problems. I was looking around for fructose malabsorbtion “good and bad” food lists that might be more comprehensive, but I have noticed there’s a lot of contradictions. Like, some places say yogurt is okay…while others say it’s not. I’m actually confused now. How did you come up with your list? Also, are you eating any of the grains that don’t contain fructose…oats, rye, quinoa, amaranth….I’m just really confused. Here is where I looked:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pXTdzu6Pj_gJ:sacfs.asn.au/download/SueShepherd_sarticle.pdf+fructose+malabsorption+food&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

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Peggy the Primal Parent
April 3, 2012 at 8:07 am #
Ashton, when I first heard of it I too searched around for safe lists and bad lists. Many of the foods I found seemed contradictory too and that had me stabbing around in the dark for a while. The paper you posted is interesting – I haven’t read the whole thing – but notice how this, “a list of poten- tially problematic foods was compiled. These were basedon arbitrary cutoff values for the fructose and fructancontent of individual foods and were defined as: (a) foodsthat have naturally occurring free fructose in excess ofglucose (0.5 g/100 g); (b) a fructose load of more than 3 gin an average serving quantity of the food or beverage;and (c) substantial food sources of fructans (0.5 g/serv-ing)”

So, while a certain fruit may be on their ok list, it could only be eaten as a single serving and no…