Is There A Test for Sucrose Intolerance?

Is There A Test for Sucrose Intolerance?

Getting a correct diagnosis for Sucrose Intolerance caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) can be a long, difficult process. The condition shares several symptoms – chronic diarrhea, stomach pain, gas, bloating – with other more common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies and intolerances, and, in infants, toddler’s diarrhea.

Fortunately, tests that help diagnose Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID do exist.

What Is Sucrose Intolerance Caused by CSID?

Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID is a genetic condition that inhibits your ability to break sucrose down into glucose and fructose so it can be absorbed by your body. Sucrose, also known as table sugar, is actually a naturally occurring carbohydrate often found in legumes such as beans, as well as fresh produce, particularly starchy fruits and vegetables like potatoes and carrots.

It is also often added to processed foods like candy, ice cream, sweetened beverages, and breakfast cereals. When sucrose is not broken down and absorbed, it can cause symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, stomach pain, gas, and bloating.

Diagnosing Sucrose Intolerance Caused by CSID

Diagnosis of Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID can be difficult because the symptoms overlap with those found with other GI conditions. Is there a test that is specific just for CSID? The short answer is ‘no’. But today, a number of tests can aid your doctor in determining whether Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID might be responsible for your symptoms.

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Procedure

This test has been referred to as the definitive test for diagnosing CSID. During this test, your physician uses a long tube called an endoscope to see what’s going on in your intestines and to take a few, very small samples of the tissue lining the walls of your small intestine. A lab then analyzes the tissue samples for the level of activity of various digestive enzymes, including sucrase and isomaltase.

Breath Tests

Your doctor may order a breath test, such as the sucrose hydrogen-methane breath test or the 13C-sucrose breath test, to assess your ability to digest sucrose. Both tests involve drinking a specific amount of a sucrose-containing solution and then breathing into a series of tubes designed to capture your exhaled breath. The gas content of your breath is then analyzed.

Note: Each of these breath tests must be ordered by your doctor and may result in relatively severe GI symptoms, so it is recommended that you schedule them for a day when GI symptoms would not cause you to miss work or other important events. These tests should not be done with infants, very young children, individuals with severe GI symptoms, or those with diabetes.

The 4-4-4 Sugar Challenge for Sucrose Intolerance

Check with your physician before you take this at-home test. In the 4-4-4 sugar challenge, you stir 4 tablespoons of table sugar into 4 ounces of water and drink the solution on an empty stomach. If GI symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating occur during the next 4 to 8 hours, it may suggest that you are unable to digest and absorb sucrose.

While this test, like the others above, is not diagnostic, it does provide valuable information that you can share with your physician, who may then perform other test to diagnose you. This test is also not recommened for infants, very young children, people with severe GI symptoms, or people who have diabetes.

Don’t forget to take the CSID quiz and take your answers with you since they can provide valuable information for your healthcare provider.

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Sucrose Intolerance May Be More Common Than You Think