Living life with sucrose intolerance can be challenging from a social perspective because your day-to-day activities may be impacted by your gastrointestinal symptoms. Even your relationships with other people could be impacted. In the paragraphs below, patients with sucrose intolerance have expressed some ways that their relationships with others has been affected.
Comments on Relationships with Friends
These comments reflect the frustrations that people with sucrose intolerance feel when they talk with their friends or want to go social event with them.
Sucrose intolerance can be “socially problematic in so many ways because all assume you brought a very sick child to a party or an event when a child has an accident.”
“Acknowledging it, that’s it not just some hyped up…you know, ooh, I’m gonna be gluten-free because that’s the new fad thing. That’s frustrating. I think people saying, ‘Well…you know, I have a friend who makes a big deal about the fact that she can’t have sugars and starches because she overindulged all of her life, doesn’t exercise, and lives an unhealthy lifestyle. Now all of a sudden she’s like, ooh, I’ have to be treated special and have all this special food and, oh, we can’t go there.’ I think what I…what I’m trying to get at is like I can’t change anything. There’s nothing I can do with my lifestyle that will make my disease go away. And for me that’s emotionally frustrating.”
“We can’t really go out to eat often because of my restrictions. I stopped sports. I used to run cross-country last year, but I stopped because I was losing too much weight, and I needed to gain weight and that was too much activity.”
Comments on Marriage and Family Relationships
These comments reflect the issues that can arise in marriage and family relationships for those who have sucrose intolerance.
“The planning is kind of difficult at times. I think it affects my husband. He feels like it’s frustrating. He tells me to go buy whatever food I need to go buy…and I’m not a picky eater…and that…that’s the hard part. I’m not a picky eater. I do have expensive taste in food. I really…it…it…the everyday life is…and I wanna eat healthy and it’s like to buy what I need to buy, to truly eat how I wanna eat, we can’t afford it.”
“It can be frustrating for my family because it costs more…you know, like sometimes it costs more because I need special foods and things; and my husband gets kind of stressed about how we need so many special things.”
“My husband bought some of these bakery bagels the other day, and they looked nice. Normally I don’t eat a bagel. I don’t crave them, but they were handmade ones…and I was mad at him for buying them. I’m like, ‘Why do you buy things that you know I can’t eat or shouldn’t eat?’ My family doesn’t seem to give a hoot. They are like, well, you know, we wanna eat stuff, so that is difficult. Living…emotionally that way, it gets frustrating.”
Communicating Your Needs
Communicating your unique needs and situation to your friends and family is key. It is important to choose to keep it positive, keep it simple, and be clear about your needs and expectations. Graciousness is also key. It is best to proactively educate others about the basics of sucrose intolerance. Sucrose intolerance is a chronic issue that will not go away with gradual exposure or with time. Just as you went through a learning period to fully understand your disorder, other people also need time to learn and adjust. It should not be assumed that people around you will instantly “get it.” Appreciate it when they do gain understanding or show empathy, but you should not expect they will automatically “get it.”