What is Causing My Stomach Cramps?
Everyone experiences stomach cramps from time to time. Maybe you ate something that disagreed with you. Maybe you’ve been hit with the stomach flu. Or perhaps you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
For some people, chronic stomach cramps after eating, diarrhea, bloating, and other unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms may be signs of Sucrose Intolerance caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID).
What is Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID?
Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID is a genetic condition in which a person’s ability to break down sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose is impaired or lacking. Sucrose must be broken down into glucose and fructose before it can be absorbed. Sucrose is a naturally occurring carbohydrate often found in produce (especially starchy fruits and vegetables, like potatoes and carrots) and beans and legumes.
It’s also frequently added to processed foods like breakfast cereals, candy, ice cream, and sweetened beverages. When sucrose is not broken down and absorbed, it can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Stomach cramps may be misdiagnosed.
Symptoms of CSID are often seen in a number of other gastrointestinal conditions and disorders. Common culprits include food allergies and intolerances, IBS, and stomach flu.
Just as CSID impairs a person’s ability to break down sucrose, lactose intolerance impairs the ability to break down lactose (found in dairy products); and gluten intolerance, the ability to break down gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Both conditions are known to cause stomach cramps after eating foods containing the offending ingredients.
Irritable bowel syndrome
In older children and adults, chronic abdominal pain, stomach cramps after eating, gas, and intermittent diarrhea may be diagnosed as IBS. IBS affects intestinal functioning, leading to stomach pain and constipation or diarrhea, potentially alternating between the two. Abdominal bloating and gas are also common symptoms of IBS.
Viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, is well-known for causing stomach cramps. These cramps are often accompanied by watery diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms usually last two or three days.
Determine the cause of your stomach cramps.
Chronic abdominal pain coupled with stomach cramps and diarrhea that occur within a few hours of consuming sucrose may be a sign of CSID.
To help pinpoint the cause of your stomach cramps, take the CSID quiz and ask your healthcare provider about CSID.
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