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Fruit, healthy or unhealthy?

I admit, frozen blueberries are the only fruit I eat. I know it may come as quite a surprise that a naturopathic doctor is not eating fruit, especially considering the reports from the CDC that Americans don’t eat enough fruit. 

For me, as for 30% of people, fruit is not healthy due to Fructose Malabsorption (FM).

While I only recently came to understand the cause, thanks to a patient who was researching her own case and brought FM to may attention, it was a couple decades ago that I figured out that I felt worse every time I ate fruit.

I am allergic to apples (eyes water, itchy mouth), but that is different.

Fructose Malabsorption is when there is a deficiency of the proteins that transport fructose (the sugar in fruit) across the intestinal lining.

So instead of being absorbed, the sugar in fruit stays in the digestive tract and attracts water, leading to bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, gurgling, discomfort, and also fatigue, mood changes, brain fog and sugar cravings.

FM can be genetic, or it can develop as a result of gluten intolerance, overuse of corn syrup or fruit juice, intestinal dysbiosis (imbalanced bacteria), and/or chemotherapy. So it could start at anytime during your life.

Even as little as one glass of apple juice could cause symptoms. But fruit is not the only source of fructose. Many vegetables contain fructose, and sugar (already a known evil) is broken down into fructose (and glucose).

There is a way to know for sure if FM is occurring in your body. A breath test for undigested fructose can tell us if you need to start eliminating fructose from your diet in order to feel well. Read more about FM and the breath test here.

Let me know if you feel like this may be a part of your case.

Wellness Wishes!

–Dr. Doni

P.S. To read my article from First for Women magazine – click here.

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