Fructose Sensitivity

Frequently Asked Questions about Fructose Sensitivity

Two Types of Fructose Sensitivity - Definition:

  • Fructose Malabsorption may now be more common due to increased consumption of sugars
  • Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is rare - but can be serious if left undiagnosed
  • Both lead to malabsorption illnesses - and both are easily treated by avoiding Fructose.


Video - Types of testing for food sensitivity


How common is Fructose Sensitivity?

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is quite rare (less than one in 10,000). It is inherited (genetic) so you have it for life. A positive diagnosis requires a stool test (DNA test) from your doctor.

Fructose Malabsorption is very common. Up to one in three people or 33% has some level of sugar sensitivity - most commonly to Fructose. However around half of these people may show no symptoms at all - until later in life. Fructose is found in some fruits and vegetables, and thousands of processed foods like soft drinks and confectionery.

Most sensitivity to sugars like lactose, fructose and sorbitol is undiagnosed, but can be responsible for unexplained stomach bloating, diarrhea and intestinal distress in millions. These sugars are used extensively in manufactured foods due to their sweetening power and low cost.


How are the two types of Fructose Sensitivity different?

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is a rare genetic condition where the enzyme for breaking down Fructose is not produced. If you discover you have fructose sensitivity - you need to rule out HFI by seeing your doctor for a DNA test. With HFI it is vital to observe a very strict Fructose-free diet. Otherwise there is risk of serious disease including liver failure.

Fructose malabsorption on the other hand is much more common and affects about 30% of people. It especially affects young people who have many soft drinks per week including soda and mixers. With Fructose Malabsorption special cells (epithelial cells) on the surface of the intestine are not available to break down the fructose sugars.

Comments:Treatment of HFI is a very strict Fructose-free diet for life. Treatment for Fructose Malabsorption is a Fructose-free diet with some concessions. You find a threshold level where you can eat some Fructose without getting symptoms.

However - fructose is just one thing that could be causing your symptoms. There are more than twenty FOOD TOXINS – and they act in concert to damage cells and provoke the immune system. Therefore we recommend trying a LOW TOXIN DIET (reducing all food toxins) – as this is more likely to address all your ailments.

Learn more with the Free ebook about Food Toxins



What are the symptoms of Fructose Sensitivity?

Symptoms for both types:

  • Gastro-intestinal distress: flatulence, bloating, diarrhea
  • Tiredness, Chronic fatigue
  • Malabsorption issues: low iron (anaemia), osteoporosis or other nutrient deficiency
  • Sugar cravings
  • Poor skin, nails and hair
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • For Fructose Sensitivity (the more common type) there is clinical evidence associating it with mood disturbances and depression

Comments: Both types of Fructose sensitivity have similar symptoms to those of milk sugar (Lactose) sensitivity. Unless careful these can be mistaken for one another. You cannot diagnose your food sensitivity from symptoms alone. We recommend a LOW TOXIN DIET.

Learn more with the Free ebook about Food Toxins


How did I get Fructose Sensitivity?

Blame your parents! Food Intolerance is genetic – so you got it from your parents and grandparents. A very small percentage of people have the hereditary Fructose Sensitivity (less than 1 in 10,000 people.)

Most Fructose sensitivity is the Malabsorption type. It may be somewhat self-imposed by our modern sugar-heavy diets. Humans have not yet evolved the biological equipment to cope with such high sugar consumption.

Comments: Consider the high level of sugars like fructose we ingest: in soft drinks, confectionery, desserts, cookies and thousands of processed foods and pharmaceuticals.



How do you Test for Fructose Intolerance?


The hydrogen or H2 breath test is often used. However many doctors now regard this test as unreliable. See video above for testing methods.

The doctor may also use stool (DNA) analysis to check for HFI. If you find you are Fructose-sensitive it is vital to rule out HFI as there may be serious health issues.


How is Fructose Sensitivity treated?

A LOW TOXIN diet is the best treatment - and the best management - for life. Learn about foodintol® LoTox Living

Comments: Fructose is present in many fruits and vegetables and thousands of processed foods, supplements and medications.

When will I be cured from Fructose Malabsorption or Sensitivity?

The uncommon HFI (Hereditary Fructose Intolerance) cannot be cured. For this a strict Fructose-free Diet must be maintained in the long term. For this you may need to consult a nutritionist.

The much more common Fructose Malabsorption cannot be cured either. But it is much easier to manage. Using a journal and monitoring yourself, you will find a threshold level that is easy to live with. That is - you will be able to eat some Fructose without suffering symptoms.

Comments: It is important to keep a journal of food eaten and symptoms on a daily basis, until you come to know your body's limits. A Journal lets you discover your threshold of sensitivity - so you can eat some sweet foods without suffering symptoms. 


I think I might have fructose sensitivity: What should I do?

Undiagnosed food intolerance can cause serious long-term health problems like osteoporosis, anaemia and many others.

Learn more with the Free ebook about Food Toxins





All foodintol® information is based on research from peer-reviewed medical journals