Fructose is the sugar found in many foods such as fresh and dried fruit, most root vegetables, honey, commercially produced sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup and most processed foods and soft drinks.
Although fructose has been a natural ingredient in our food, it is thought that the over-consumption of fructose in our modern diet has overwhelmed the body’s ability to process it.
What is fructose malabsorption?
Some people with fructose malabsorption cannot absorb fructose into the wall of their small intestine.
As fructose is a rapidly fermentable sugar, if it cannot be absorbed in the small intestine, it will travel down to the large intestine.
Here, bacteria will break it down, and in this process cause it to ferment and release gases which often mimic those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as bloating, cramping, excess wind, abdominal distension or pain, diarrhoea or constipation.
Fructose malabsorption is affecting a growing proportion of the population. It can occur at any age, as it is found in very young children as well as the elderly.
Due to the malabsorption nature of the condition, long-term effects include nutritional deficiencies such as iron (anaemia), folic acid, zinc, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin C and E.
Some people may also experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, brain fog, mood disturbances, depression and pre-menstrual syndrome, problems with hair, skin and nails, failure to thrive, and general poor health.
What is GAPS?
GAPS is also known as the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Nutritional protocol (GAPS). It was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and explores the link between the gut and whole body systems.
The focus is to heal and seal the gut by removing foods that disrupt the digestive system and damage good gut flora, and introduce nutrient-dense, whole foods to heal the intestinal lining and improve absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
GAPS describes that there is an integral link between your gut, your brain, and your immune system, and it starts at birth.
It is your microbiome – beneficial and bad (pathogenic) bacteria. When these bacteria are in balance, your immune system and digestive system are working optimally.
But when they are out of balance, such as is the case for most of us, this is called dysbiosis and can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, and many of the chronic health conditions impacting our lives today.
How can we treat fructose malabsorption with the GAPS protocol?
The GAPS protocol is a nutritionally based treatment strategy that uses real food to restore intestinal health.
Developing a comprehensive diet protocol will help restore the integrity of walls of the small intestines responsible for the absorption of nutrients from our food and repopulate beneficial bacteria to optimise digestive and immune health.
Will you need to follow a special diet forever?
Everyone has a different tolerance level to fructose. Modifying diet and restricting food triggers may reduce symptoms but closely following a tailored GAPS protocol will support your own body’s healing ability and promote restoration of optimal digestive function.
Depending on the severity and duration of symptoms, some people recover more quickly while others take longer.
The good news is, that with the right support, environment and nutrition, our body does respond positively and healing begins very quickly. Investing some time to support this essential process of removing and removing dietary and environmental triggers and introduce fresh wholesome food will heal and seal the gut lining and lay a strong foundation to assist in the reversal of chronic disease and improve quality of life.
Once the digestive system starts functioning normally, most people do not need to adhere to a special diet and can gradually introduce many commonly eaten foods.
If you are suffering with fructose malabsorption, nutritional deficiency, symptoms of chronic inflammation or digestive dysfunction, why not contact us for a free 10 minute phone briefing and find out how your diet and environment may be directly causing you to not live your life fully. Call to make a time on 1300 21 44 25.