Stomach Pain and CSID
Stomach pain may be caused by many different factors. Perhaps you have a bit of indigestion after eating a spicy meal, or maybe your child brought home a stomach bug and you’re coming down with stomach flu. While infrequent stomach pain is usually nothing to be concerned about, chronic stomach pain after eating is typically a sign that something more serious is going on. Many different foods, including those containing dairy, gluten, or sugar, have the potential to cause stomach pain in an individual.
If someone has lactose intolerance, they usually develop stomach pain after eating a food that contains dairy. Some individuals are able to tolerate small amounts of dairy without adverse side effects. Moreover, some people can tolerate dairy-containing foods like cheddar cheese without a problem. Those with lactose interolance lack the enzyme known as lactase, which assists the body in breaking down lactose. Without lactase, lactose cannot be digested or absorbed by the body and may cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.
Gluten is a protein found in many foods, including breads, cereals, and other packaged products. Individuals with celiac disease may encounter stomach pain after eating a food that contains gluten because they are unable to tolerate the gluten protein molecule. When an individual with celiac disease consumes gluten, the body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. For a person with celiac disease, the only treatment is life-long avoidance of gluten.
Those with Congenital Sucrase Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) resulting in Sucrose Intolerance cannot tolerate foods that contain sucrose (sugar). When an individual with CSID consumes a food that contains sucrose, gastrointestinal symptoms of stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating may occur. The severity of these symptoms varies with each individual. CSID is caused by a decrease in the activity of the enzyme needed to breakdown the molecule known as sucrose. Sucrose naturally occurs in many foods, including grains, some fruits and vegetables, and beans and legumes.
For those born with CSID, it is important to eliminate or strictly limit sucrose in their diet. A low-sucrose diet typically helps decrease gastrointestinal symptoms. In addition, pharmaceutical therapy is available to treat the disease.
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