Food intolerance or food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhoea.

The number of people who believe they have a food intolerance has risen dramatically over recent years, but it’s hard to know how many people are truly affected.

Fructose Malabsorption

Fructose malabsorption is a gastrointestinal condition that causes digestive discomfort. It’s common in sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but can also be experienced in others. Fructose is a simple carbohydrate, or single sugar, found in many plants. However, it is also found in honey, wheat and some vegetables.

Fructose can be found in three ways:

      1. As free fructose.
      2. Bonded to glucose to form table sugar.
      3. As part of a fructan. Fructans are multiple fructose molecules joined to one glucose molecule.

 

When we eat fruit or anything containing fructose, it passes through the walls of the small intestine lining into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, it is converted into glucose which the body utilises to burn for energy. For the fructose to pass through the small intestine lining there is a mechanism (called transport mechanism) and if this is defective fructose is not absorbed and reaches the colon. This results mainly in two complaints:

  1. Water accumulates through osmosis in the small intestine causing diarrhoea because this surplus liquid cannot be absorbed in the colon.
  2. Fructose is decomposed in the colon by bacteria forming short-chain fatty acids and gases, and this causes complaints such as flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, reflux and headache.

Fructose malabsorption can be diagnosed simply by carrying out an Hydrogen Breath Test (HBT) which is one of the investigation carried out by the Paediatric Gut Investigation Clinic.

Fructose Malabsorption must not be confused with Fructose Intolerance or Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI), the genetic condition which lacks the enzyme that breaks down fructose in the liver. HFI is usually diagnosed at a young age when babies start to eat food or have a formula containing fructose.

HFI can cause serious liver problems if left unmanaged. Fortunately, like fructose malabsorption, it can be effectively managed with diet changes. Some of our products are suitable for people with Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) but customers must ensure that they do not consume more than their daily requirement as based on their weight.

Eliminating fructose completely from your diet is near impossible. The main aim is to determine how much you can tolerate without causing uncomfortable digestive issues. Each person is unique.

 

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a food intolerance of the sugar lactose, which is a component of milk and milk products, among others. Lactose Intolerance is not a disease and neither is it an allergy. Those affected suffer from bloating, gas, diarrhoea and stomach pain after consumption of the sugar lactose. However, beyond these unpleasant symptoms, they do not harm their health when they enjoy lactose-containing products – which is in contrast to people who suffer from Hereditary Fructose Intolerance or Celiac Disease. Experts, therefore, advise patients with Lactose Intolerance to closely monitor their diet, but also to carefully test their individual tolerance threshold for lactose.

The other alternative is to take lactase substitutes, which are drops or tablets you can take with your meals or drinks to improve your digestion of lactose.

 

We have a range of food and snacks for people who have a Sugar Intolerance and on a Low-FODMAP diet.

 

Our delicious fructose-free foods are made and sweetened with valuable, fructose-free glucose syrup. Everything is made entirely without refined sugar, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Try it for yourself!

Shop Now