Sucrose and CSID

Sucrose and CSID

Sucrose Intolerance caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) is an inherited disorder, resulting in the inability of your body to digest sucrose. So, it’s important for you to know exactly what sucrose is in order to get a better understanding of the steps you have to undertake to treat CSID.

Sucrose and CSID

What is sucrose?

The word “sucrose” is derived from the French word “sucre” meaning sugar and the suffix “-ose.” Whenever you see a chemical name with the suffix “-ose,” you know that it is some sort of sugar; for example, glucose, maltose, and fructose. Sucrose is just one type of sugar.

Sucrose is commonly known as “table sugar” or “refined sugar.” It’s the white stuff in the sugar bowl that you use to make homemade cookies and sweeten your morning mug of coffee. Manufacturers often add sucrose to foods and beverages as a sweetener or as a preservative.

Sucrose is a disaccharide, which is just a scientific term for a carbohydrate that is made up of two distinct molecules that are linked together. In the case of sucrose, the two molecules are glucose and fructose. 

Sucrose is too large to be absorbed into the body from the digestive tract, so it needs to be split into its individual molecules (monosaccharides) of glucose and fructose. 

In most of you, the breakdown of sucrose happens easily. The enzyme, sucrase, is secreted in the small intestine. It bonds to the sucrose molecule and puts stress on the bond between glucose and fructose, causing the molecule to break apart.

Once separated, glucose and fructose pass easily out of the small intestine and into the bloodstream.

Sucrose and CSID

If I have CSID, what happens when I eat sucrose?

If you have CSID and eat sucrose, it doesn’t get broken down but, instead, passes into your large intestine undigested. 

This undigested sucrose is a problem, because the large intestine is teeming with gas-producing bacteria, both good and bad, which feed on anything that is not digested in the small intestine. 

Undigested sucrose is like junk food for bacteria. They feast on it, break it down very quickly, and produce a lot of gas at a very rapid rate. The presence of undigested sucrose and this subsequent production of gas result in mild-to-severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, excess gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and possibly malnutrition.

How can I relieve the symptoms of CSID?

Because Sucrose Intolerance caused by CSID is an inherited disorder, it cannot be “outgrown,” but you can take steps to control your symptoms. You can take steps to deal with CSID symptoms: diet modification, over-the-counter medicines, and prescription medicines. Working with your healthcare provider and a registered dietitian, you can create a healthy, tasty daily diet that eliminates sucrose.

The problem is that many of the foods that you eat contain sugar naturally as well as the sugar added in processed foods. Talk to your doctor to determine what CSID symptom management looks like for you.


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Sucrose Intolerance May Be More Common Than You Think