10 Sucrose Intolerance (CSID) Facts and Myths
Whether you’ve heard the term “Sucrose Intolerance,” also known as Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID), buzzing online or your coworker has just been diagnosed with CSID, there are a lot of misunderstandings about the disease. Today, we’re giving you the 411 on CSID while also debunking some of the common myths.
1. “An individual with CSID cannot digest sucrose.”
The 411: If you have CSID, you can’t digest sucrose. As a result, you develop gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, or diarrhea after eating foods containing sucrose.
2. “Symptoms in infants and children with CSID are the same as the symptoms in adults.”
The 411: Children’s symptoms may be more severe than adults because children have shorter GI tracts. In fact, CSID is sometimes misdiagnosed, so it’s important to work with a doctor to get a correct diagnosis. No matter your age, you can’t outgrow the disease; but you can learn to manage the symptoms, which may include increased gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in both children and adults.
3. “Sucrose is only found in table sugar or sugars added to processed foods.”
The 411: While sucrose is often added to processed foods, it also occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. Apples, bananas, oranges, and carrots can be particularly tough for you to tolerate if you have CSID.
4. “It’s important to watch your diet, but some medications also contain sucrose.”
The 411: It’s true; some medications contain sucrose, especially liquid medications. It’s important to read the label (both the active and inactive ingredient list), and work with your healthcare provider to find safer alternatives that work for you with prescription and over-the-counter meds.
5. “Sucrose Intolerance is an allergy to sugar; your reaction to sugar is the same as the reaction of someone who has a peanut allergy.”
The 411: Sucrose Intolerance is not an allergy or anaphylactic response. While you will not break out in hives or stop breathing from eating sucrose, it still affects your health because people with CSID lack the enzyme, sucrase, needed for sucrose digestion. This leads to uncomfortable GI symptoms after eating foods containing sucrose.
6. “It takes time to diagnose CSID.”
The 411: More common GI problems are ruled out typically first before looking into less common diseases. It’s important to monitor your symptoms and work with your healthcare provider to properly evaluate you. You might see several healthcare providers before a diagnosis is made. While there are several tests available to aid in a diagnosis, the most accurate is an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsy, which is considered the gold standard in diagnosing CSID. For starters, take this quick quiz to see if your symptoms match up with CSID.
7. “All veggies are in the clear, since they’re 100% sucrose-free!”
The 411: Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn are high in sucrose and may need to be avoided. Veggies like celery, cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes have low sucrose and are often tolerated by those who have CSID.
8. “Elimination diets are a great way to get to the root of CSID.”
The 411: Elimination diets, like FODMAP, will not work if you have CSID. If you think you may have CSID, then it is recommended that you find a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about the disease and knows how to appropriately diagnose and treat it. Once you have a diagnosis, you can work with your healthcare provider and a registered dietitian to design a diet that works for you.
9. “All sugars are created the same and are digested the same way in your body.”
The 411: There are actually many different types of sugar and not all are created equal, so you’ll have to be a bit of a food detective when navigating the grocery aisle. Lactose (milk sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and fructose (fruit sugar) are a few varieties. Learn how to be in-the-know when reading food labels the next time you’re at the supermarket.
10. “The digestive enzymes sucrase and isomaltase assist in an individual’s ability to digest certain sugars.”
The 411: The absence or low levels of these two enzymes disrupts the digestive process and can cause symptoms, such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and chronic diarrhea when eating food containing sucrose or starch. Learn more about CSID here.
Do you relate to any of these facts? If so, we recommend that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider to evaluate your symptoms.
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