My Favorite Foods are Sending Me to the Restroom
An apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, right? For most people, the following statement holds true: Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other good-for-you foods to increase your chances of staying healthy.
But for those of you living with Sucrose Intolerance caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID), apples, bananas, carrots, and other favorite “good-for-you” foods can cause stomach pain, chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, and other unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms that send you running to the restroom soon after you eat them.
What is Sucrose Intolerance?
Sucrose (sugar) is a naturally occurring carbohydrate frequently found in food – from fruits, especially apples and bananas, to tropical fruits like pineapple, mangoes, and guava to starchy vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, and corn to beans and legumes. It is also often added to processed foods like candy, ice cream, sweetened beverages, and cereals.
With Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID, your body is unable to break sucrose down into glucose and fructose so it can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Why does Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID send you running to the restroom?
When sucrose is not broken down and absorbed in the small intestine, it travels, undigested, to the large intestine. There, naturally-occurring bacteria feed off the undigested sugar and ferment, causing gas to build up, distending the stomach.
In addition, undigested sucrose pulls water into the large intestine and causes watery diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, and unexplained stomach pain.
What foods should you avoid if you have Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID?
With some strategic dietary changes, those of you with Sucrose Intolerance can minimize your symptoms, saving yourselves from frequent, unpleasant trips to the restroom. The following foods are high in sucrose and you should avoid them if you have Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID, even if they’re among your favorites. Note this is not a comprehensive list of foods.
- Grapefruit, oranges, and other citrus fruits
- Tropical fruits like pineapple, mangoes, and guava
- Sweet potatoes
Beans and Legumes
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- Kidney, pinto, and black beans
- Ice cream
- Breakfast cereals
- Sweetened beverages
- Brown sugar
- Cane juice
- Coconut sugar
- Corn syrup solids
- Maple syrup
What foods can you enjoy if you have Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID?
You may still be able to indulge in some of your favorite foods without triggering gastrointestinal symptoms.
Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, cherries, grapes, pears, and kiwi, are all lower in sucrose and can usually be safely enjoyed by those of you with Sucrose Intolerance.
Veggie options include cucumbers, celery, eggplant, peppers, green beans, mushrooms, and spinach.
Higher-fiber carbohydrates tend to be better tolerated than more processed carbohydrates, thanks to their larger amounts of fiber, which slows the rate of digestion. Try whole-grain bread instead of white bread; whole-wheat pasta; quinoa; brown or wild rice instead of processed white rice; and whole-grain cereals made with whole oats, barley, or bran instead of the more processed, sugary cereals.
Lean Protein, Dairy, and Healthy Fats
And don’t forget these other delicious, healthful foods that tend to be well-tolerated by those of you with Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID: Lean protein like chicken, turkey, seafood, pork, and beef; eggs; dairy, including milk, cheese, and yogurt; and healthy fats like avocados, olives, and canola or olive oil.
Should you speak to your physician?
If symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain have you frequently running to the restroom after eating, it may be time to speak with your physician. Take the quiz to help identify if Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID may be causing your symptoms.
Information contained on this site is not to be used as a substitute for talking to your doctor. You should always talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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