Fructose Malabsorption – On the cusp of some answers?

fructoseNot a training blog this week, but a food and bodily functions blog. So if you get squeamish then please don’t read on.

If you read my last blog a few days ago, you’ll know that I visited a new nutritionist over the weekend. After a long discussion, she suggested that amongst a whole bunch of issues (Yes I absolutely have other issues!). I could have a fructose malabsorption problem (I still like to say Fructose Intolerance but medically that is a much more serious issue and not in question here) and referred me to a specialist clinic to get officially tested.

In the interim though, she also put me on a Low fructose diet, just to see if it made a difference. And whilst it is hard to see if it is making any difference in a couple of days, I certainly haven’t been having any problems with it.

Then on Monday night I had a Protein shake (I made it with Soy Milk, which I didn’t realise was a problem) and again on Tuesday morning.  Then for lunch on Tuesday, I had a small can of 3 bean mix. Within half an hour of lunch I had cramps in my bowel and explosive diarrhoea. Not as bad as when I have garlic which often has me doubled up in pain on the floor, but certainly enough to indicate that I have a problem. It turns out that the protein powder I had has Sucralose in it, which is an artificial sweetener that reacts badly with people who have a Fructose issue. The Soy also had another type of artificial sweetener in it and when mixed with the beans, which also cause a reaction, you get an explosion (You get the idea!).

So today, it was off to the Specialists to have a hydrogen breath test. Or at least Part 1 was today and the test proper will be next Tuesday.

Part 1 of the test is simply a control to see how you react and what type of test you will take. Apparently some people produce Hydrogen in their gut in reaction to sugar and others produce Methane. Depending on which gas you produce then determines what type of test you will be given.

To test this, you drink a sugar solution and then blow into a specially calibrated machine, which measures the amount of hydrogen (ppm – parts per million) that you produce. A little like the random breath testers the police use down here to check for drink driving.

Before the start I was producing around 2ppm and around 30min after my first drink I was reading 11ppm.

I didn’t think it was a competition, however the nurse thought otherwise.

She proudly announced that I was in equal first place with another guy also undertaking the test (there were about 15 of us). By the second round (1hr mark), I blew 34ppm and literally blew the competition away as the other guy was still on 11ppm.

Now to be honest I’m not sure if this is a good thing! There are some competitions you want to win and some that you most definitely don’t!!!!!

By the third round the nurse actually seemed disappointed as I dropped back to 30ppm. Apparently with the speed of my first reaction she was hoping that I would break her personal record of a patient with 60ppm, though that was a long way short of the all time record of 120ppm. I on the other hand felt a little better by knowing that I wasn’t going to set anyone’s PB in a medical test.

For the rest of the test I then stabilized on 30ppm, while everyone else in the room stayed around 9-11ppm.

So what does it prove? Well, at this stage I have absolutely no idea but some of my kindest friends have surmised that either

1)   You shouldn’t light a match near me as I’ll probably breath fire. (At either end)

2)   Or most popularly, the results confirm that I am definitely full of hot air, which everyone knew anyway!

Seriously though, what do I think?

Well some people might be worried when they find out they have a problem, but not for me.

Actually I’m quite excited.

I know things are about to change and I feel that I’m on the cusp of finally being able to sort out my diet/weight issue.

If it is proven that I have some sort of malabsorption/intolerance issue then FINALLY I have some answers and can actually start dealing with it properly.

And if it isn’t?

Then I’m learning what things don’t sit well with me and add I’ll add the experience to the jigsaw puzzle while I look for the answers.


More soon.