Another Sugar Intolerance That May Explain Your Stomach Problems
If you have any type of regular stomach pain, diarrhea, gassiness, or some combination of these symptoms, then you probably have already been tested for lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance, a type of sugar intolerance, affects up to 25 percent of the U.S. population. Fortunately, if you have lactose intolerance, you may get stomach relief by either avoiding dairy products in your diet or by taking lactose-digesting supplements that can help to digest dairy products.
So, what happens if you have been seen by your doctor, still have stomach problems, and lactose intolerance has been ruled out?
There are other types of lesser known sugar intolerances that can have symptoms similar to those of lactose intolerance. One type of sugar intolerance involves sucrose (table sugar). It is called Sucrose Intolerance, a disorder caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID). Fortunately, the percentage of Americans with Sucrose Intolerance is much lower than the percentage with lactose intolerance.
If you think you have Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID, you could try to avoid table sugar. You should also stay away from eating starches, such as breads and rice because the enzyme in the body that digests table sugar is also involved in digesting starches. Avoiding these foods becomes challenging for typical Americans who consumes about 51 percent of their calories in the form of carbohydrates, with about 30 percent of the carbohydrate calories coming from sucrose and about 60 percent coming from starch.
Because Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID occurs in fewer people, awareness of the disorder is lower than awareness of lactose intolerance. To see if you have this type of Sucrose Intolerance, you would need the help of a physician, preferably a gastroenterologist, a doctor specializing in diseases and conditions of the gut.
Keep in mind that if you are an adult, Sucrose Intolerance from CSID is not something the typical doctor looks for. The reason it is difficult to diagnose in adults is that it is thought to be a disease diagnosed in childhood. What the medical community is also learning is that the deficiency does not look the same in all individuals. Some of you may have severe stomach pain or diarrhea, while others might have milder symptoms.
These differences are important because these symptoms don’t have the “classic” look of Sucrose Intolerance from CSID normally seen in children. Because of the low awareness and the lack of understanding that there is no “typical” Sucrose Intolerance individual, your deficiency could go undiagnosed for years and may not be diagnosed even as an adult. However, you can help your doctor to determine if you have the disorder by sharing this and other information on Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID.