Pouchitis and Fructose - There is a connection

The learning process never stops. A while ago I wrote Pouchitis - ten non-medical ways of avoiding and fighting it and Pouchitis and Candida - Cure and avoid this painful condition, which contain many important concepts. But while I started to understand the what's, I am now learning about the why's. You can never stop learning. Or at least you shouldn't.

I had a very informative meeting with a Nutritionist the other day that confirmed some of my own observations while providing me with reasons why this might be happening. I have talked about sugar in the past, but this new knowledge refines this. Sugar is a large issue for people with Pouchitis, but there two different kinds of sugar, glucose and fructose. Together, the two form sucrose, or table sugar. Recent research seems to indicate that when the two are consumed in equal quantities, they are more easily digested than when there is an oversupply of fructose. Unfortunately, as fructose is actually sweeter than sucrose, food manufacturers need to add less fructose to achieve the same level of sweetness than they would using sucrose. It looks better on the food label as they can claim it contains less sugar, but it ends up being more difficult to digest than foods sweetened by sucrose. A good idea gone bad.

When foods contain equal amounts of Fructose and Glucose, the Fructose is more easily absorbed by the small intestine, but when food contains substantially more of the former, the difference in the amounts, referred to as "Free Fructose" is much harder for the small intestine to absorb. As a result, it ends up in the large intestine and forms a bacteria superfood. The resulting fermentation process can lead to bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. It also helps the bacteria to grow and establish itself, the condition we know as Pouchitis. This can also happen when a large amount of food that contains high amounts of balanced amounts of Fructose and Glucose are eaten as the small intestine is simply overwhelmed and cannot process all the fructose before it reaches the large intestine. Therefore, smaller amounts of fruit several times a day is much better for you than a large amount of fruit all at once.

Natural Foods that have a high level of Free Fructose (FF) and are to be avoided are as follows, starting with the highest level of FF: Honey, Apple juice, Apples, Pears, Asian Pears, Mango, Papaya, Watermelon, Star Fruit, Cherries, Grapes. Fruits that are relatively safe are Apricots, Nectarines, Bananas, Kiwis, grapefruit, lemons and limes, Peaches, Plums, Cranberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Mandarins, Honeydew melon and Navel Oranges. Foods that fall somewhat in the middle are Orange juice, Pineapple, Raspberries and Strawberries. The first groups is to be avoided, the second can be eaten in moderate amounts and the third in small amounts.

Pop and candy are of course loaded with sugar and should either be avoided or consumed in small quantities. In refined food, corn syrup can contain high amounts of free fructose. Anything that contains corn syrup as an ingredient is suspect. Fruit Juice concentrates and dried fruit bars can also be bad news.

For people who don't suffer from diabetis, one possible way of dealing with Foods containing high amounts Free Fructose is to balance the meal with supplementing it with Glucose foods, like Glucose Tablets or powder. Avoiding foods filled with Free Fructose is still better, but this offers some alternatives.

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Disclaimer: These as well as all the other documents on this website are based on my own personal experiences, and are not a replacement of a professional opinion by a qualified physician, for all that this was worth in my case. The purpose of sharing my experiences with you is to help you get through this, and to learn of other ways of dealing with your condition. I am not a medical doctor, I don't have any sort of formal training in this or any other medical field. The only thing I can offer you is what it was like for the past 20+ years and what it is like now, and in the future. Any advice I give is to be taken into consideration, and you are welcome to act upon it at your own risk. I am not saying it will help you, or that it will not hurt you, all I am saying is that this is what I learned, and I am wanting to share it with you. After that, you have my best wishes for success and happiness. And if you find something that works for you, please, share it with the world, because we need to know more than what modern medicine is telling us, which is not enough. Be well.
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