4-4-4 Sugar Challenge: A Simple At-Home Test for Sucrose Intolerance
Genetic Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (GSID) or sucrose intolerance is a disorder that causes a reduction of the enzyme activity needed to break down and absorb table sugar (sucrose) and other sugars from starch. Symptoms of Genetic Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency include chronic, watery diarrhea, gassiness, bloating, abdominal pain and even constipation. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Infants, children and adults can suffer from the disease.
Diagnosing GSID can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to several other more common gastrointestinal disorders including toddler’s diarrhea, IBS-D, celiac disease or lactose intolerance. Many people who have ongoing GI symptoms have been searching for answers for months to years, but often GSID is not considered as a possibility. Sucrase deficiency may be more common than previously thought according to recent studies. People who have chronic GI symptoms are seeking answers and may benefit from a simple test that could indicate that GSID is worth exploring as a diagnosis.
There is a simple test that can be performed in the privacy of one’s home. It is called the 4-4-4 Sugar Challenge. There are three steps in the Challenge:
Step 1: Stir 4 tablespoons of ordinary table sugar into a 4-ounce glass of water. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 2: Drink it on an empty stomach.
Step 3: See if symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhea occur during the next 4-8 hours; this suggests sucrose intolerance is possible.
There are some important warnings which should be considered before taking the 4-4-4 Sugar Challenge.
- A person may have relatively SEVERE SYMPTOMS. If someone does have sucrose intolerance, this challenge may cause relatively severe gas, bloating and diarrhea. It would be wise to take the challenge on a weekend or day when GI symptoms will not cause the person to miss work or other important events.
- This challenge should not be given to infants, very young children or to people with severe symptoms or people who have diabetes. Someone who is considering the challenge may need to seek guidance from their healthcare provider to make sure they are safely able to handle the challenge.
- The 4-4-4 Sugar Challenge is not a diagnostic test and cannot be used to confirm sucrose intolerance. Only a physician can tell someone if their symptoms are caused by Genetic Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (GSID).
Chronic GI symptoms can be frustrating and bothersome. A simple test like the 4-4-4 Sugar Challenge for sucrose intolerance may prove useful for people who are seeking a diagnosis. #💩