Fructose intolerance is a condition in which an individual does not possess the protein required for properly digesting fructose, a fruit sugar. Fructose is naturally present in the body and is used to create artificial sweeteners for beverages and food products. While some of the symptoms of fructose intolerance are relatively mild, others are quite serious and require immediate medical attention. The sooner you know you have this intolerance, the better your overall health.
Causes of Fructose Intolerance
For the most part, fructose intolerance is an inherited condition that can present itself in babies. The primary cause is the lack of aldolase B, which is responsible for digesting fructose properly. This means, if you eat fructose, your body is suddenly unable to change glycogen into glucose. This makes your blood sugar fall sharply and can make toxins accumulate in your liver.
Those with fructose intolerance might first notice that they're tired all the time. For the most part, this presents itself in babies, who will sleep more often than normal. Since the body is not processing sugars into energy, it can lead to fatigue, weakness and sleepiness.
One of the primary symptoms of fructose intolerance is a problem with digestion in general. Babies might not feed very well and lose weight. Children and adults might notice stomach upset after eating any food containing fructose including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. You might also find that you are made physically ill at even the thought of eating fruit because of the sickening effects you've experienced in the past.
Another common symptom of fructose intolerance is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar drops beneath normal and expected levels. Since fructose intolerance interferes with the body's ability to break down glycogen into glucose, you can experience hypoglycemia very suddenly, oftentimes right after you eat something containing fructose.
One of the most serious symptoms of fructose intolerance is liver failure. Though fairly rare, liver failure can come on suddenly in very serious cases of fructose intolerance. This would be most noticeable through jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin. Immediate treatment is necessary in severe cases of fructose intolerance.