Is your story similar to mine? Did you struggle for years before finding an answer to what was making you feel so sick? Did you ignore or explain away many of your symptoms? That is my story.
I assumed my constant brain fog and exhaustion were due to our hectic life schedule (even though I was sleeping 8 hours every night). I presumed my joints throbbed because I had logged too many hours in the pool pursuing my dream of becoming a collegiate swimmer. And, I definitely knew why all winter long I had sinus infections, bronchitis and a constant runny nose. It was because I was around little kids. I was just one of those people who got sick a lot. In fact, one of my friends called me “Leaky Lindsay”.
Never did I think these symptoms were severe enough to talk to a doctor. It was much easier to explain them away and just trudge on day to day feeling only 50% healthy. It wasn’t until I started to have an irritable bowel that I sought out medical advice. I easily avoided dealing with all of my other symptoms, but I couldn’t ignore my stomach pain or the fact that I was so bloated I looked like I was 3 months pregnant. No, I was not expecting at this time, I just had a large belly full of undigested fructose that was wreaking havoc on my entire body. I had no idea my brain fog, achy joints and sinus issues were also due to Fructose Malabsorption.
In fact when I was first diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption; and learned how to avoid foods that are high in fructose and man-made sweeteners it never occurred to me that my entire body would change, not just my gut. One month into changing my diet I started to notice many changes. I wasn’t seeking out a mid-afternoon Starbucks run. I could make it all day without yawning. I could actually focus on a conversation in the late afternoon and not feel like I was living in Seattle battling the fog. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t feel like an 85 year old. In fact I started jumping out of bed ready to tackle the day. And, my first holiday season without bronchitis and too many antibiotics was a holiday miracle!
Why didn’t I advocate for myself when I was feeling awful? Why did if I have to put on a brave face and live only ½ of a life? Now knowing how great I feel I wish I would have listened to my body and found an answer sooner.
Are you like me? Do you have other symptoms beyond an irritable bowel? Are you trying to explain away these symptoms?
Do you have weird skin rashes or suffer from eczema? Are you worried about your next migraine, hoping it won’t happen on an important day at work? Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD, but something tells you it might be something your child is eating?
Yes, all of these maladies can be caused by Fructose Malabsorption.
When your body doesn’t have the right mechanics to breakdown and transport the fructose in your food choices it causes a downward spiral of events. Without getting too technical or using medical jargon, when you digest more fructose than your body can handle it causes an inflammation response in your body. Your body is trying to do the right thing. It is trying to rid itself from the fructose invader. It does this in multiple ways. Water is pulled out of your cells and sent to your gut in hopes that the fructose villain can be flushed out. This is why you can get a dry mouth, suffer from headaches and feel like you are living in Seattle. Your body becomes dehydrated. In addition, your immune system which is like the most super of Superwoman releases special chemicals called cytokines. Think of cytokines as the Robin to the Batman. They are the workers trying to destroy the offensive fructose. Cytokines produce a mucus effect in your body that can contribute to lung and sinus issues and cause all sorts of other symptoms.
Doctors and scientists are starting to recognize that Fructose Malabsorption doesn’t just harm your gut, in can negatively affect your entire body. Many of my favorite doctors are now recognizing the Fructose Malabsorption and chronic inflammation connection. We are the ones teaching them by informing them of how we are feeling.
If you are living only ½ of a life find someone who can help you. Someone who can help you heal your body from the inside out, who can teach you what and what not to eat, and who recognizes the other symptoms of Fructose Malabsorption beyond an irritable bowel.
If you prefer technical language and medical jargon this is a great article about chronic inflammation: Inflammatory Symptoms and Food Intolerances
If you are looking for a local dietitan/doctor to help you check out: healthprofs.com