Gas, Bloating, Diarrhea and Sucrose Intolerance: The Missing Link
By: Enrique Hernandez-Sanchez, MD
Bloating, or the feeling or having a distended abdomen full of gas, is an extremely common complaint heard by gastroenterologists, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors.
Many diseases can cause bloating; for example, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and bacterial overgrowth. Doctors are relatively proficient at detecting potential causes of these conditions, but in many cases the tests yield negative results.
Eventually, many patients are diagnosed as having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and are prescribed generic treatments that include probiotics, antispasmodics, or peppermint oil. Yet, many times they do not improve and continue to suffer from their symptoms.
Up to 40 percent of patients diagnosed with IBS actually suffer from Sucrose Intolerance caused by Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID).
Sucrose is formed when the sugars glucose and fructose bind together. To break this bond, we need the presence of an enzyme called sucrase, which is present in the lining of the small intestine.
Unfortunately, many children are born with a reduced amount of this enzyme and the result is that sucrose is not absorbed and continues traveling down the bowel. This pulls water from the intestinal lining cells, causing diarrhea and cramps. When sucrose eventually reaches the large intestine, the bacteria ferments the sugar and forms hydrogen gas, which leads to bloating.
Unless your physician knows about CSID and tests that aid in the diagnosis of CSID, such as a sucrose hydrogen methane breath test, a C-13 sucrose breath test, or a disaccharides analysis, which is a test from tissue obtained during an upper endoscopy and the best way to diagnose CSID, you may remain undiagnosed for a long time.
If you, your family, or friends suffer from bloating, tell your physician that you would like to be tested for CSID, a frequently missed condition!