Fructose Malabsorption: My Long Road to a Diagnosis

Fructose Malabsorption: My Long Road to a Diagnosis

Growing up I always had an issue with wheat. Over the past 30 years, I’ve been tested numerous times for Coeliac (Celiac) Disease – all of my results were always inconclusive.

There was never an explanation of my symptoms, which included lethargy, bloating, excess gas, stomach pains, constant nausea, and weight gain. In my late 20’s, “food sensitivity” started to get much worse. I had endoscopies and colonoscopies over the years – no apparent issue or problem. I was very frustrated at the lack of answers.

When I got pregnant with my third child, doctors stopped looking for anything more because being pregnant explained it all.


FODMAP Diet                           Source:

In my 40’s, symptoms got worse. Uncontrollable diarrhea or chronic constipation – one extreme or the other. Bloat 2 sizes up 20 minutes, 2hrs after eating. Abdomen would go painfully rock hard and not go down. (I now know every time I eat something that irritates, I can stay distended for a couple of days & have irritable bowel.) It can take 3-5 days for everything to settle on low FODMAP diet (FODMAP=Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols – learn more here).

Gastroenterologists put me on low FODMAP diet after diagnosing GORD (GERD). Felt so much better for a while! Unfortunately, he didn’t let me know that you have to challenge your system with excluded foods. Stayed exclusively on diet for 3 yrs unchallenged made reactions worse when eating something that irritated by mistake. Great…

In April 2011, I started having excruciating abdominal pain. Kidney stones were removed. 6 days later undetected Spigalian hernia ruptured and strangled bowel and I had emergency surgery. I was in the hospital for 15 days. Recovery was prolonged because I was unable to move very much and was being very careful with what I was eating. I started putting on more weight, feeling extremely nauseous – this was just NEVER ENDING.

With everything that had happened my Doctor was listening, but didn’t ever really have “answers”.

Fructose Malabsorbtion | WIRL Project

Fructose Malabsorption Source:

With everything that had happened my Doctor was listening, but didn’t ever really have “answers”. I mentioned that I felt a constant feeling of alcohol in my breath, in the back of my throat. She explained some reading she’d done on Fructose Malabsorption and thought we should test for it. (She had 2 other patients with some similar symptoms & they had tested positive). In Feb 2012 I tested positive with Fructose Malabsorption – not great news, but finally some answers! Also, later in 2012, my gall bladder was removed because it was dead. My doctor now thinks this could possibly be related to Fructose Malabsorption and it’s link to organ failure.

In June 2014 I was also diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. The diet required for that was in conflict with my FODMAP diet. There really wasn’t much left that I could actually eat. I was referred to a dietitian who turned everything around for me. They identified specific trigger foods for me, things I could eat once in a while, and main staples. In 6 months have lost 8  kgs (17.6 lbs) not “trying” to loose weight! Something is actually working for me! I have answers!! I feel healthier and fitter, (and look younger) than I did 5 years ago!

I have answers!! I feel healthier and fitter, (and look younger) than I did 5 years ago!

The point of this story is to hopefully help educate and inform others who may be going through a similar situation. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, but feel it’s something “more”, look into some of the tests/options I have mentioned. I’ve been dealing with this for many, many, many years; I thought it would be best to pay-it-forward and pass on my experience with hopes that I can help at least ONE person. Thank you for listening to my story.


Join the conversation! Easily contribute your story here.


About the Author…

This WIRL was contributed by Charan Brennan from Sydney, Australia. 

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites    
Profile photo of Guest WIRL
Guest WIRLs come from real people who are willing to "get real" and share their personal thoughts, stories, confessions, and experiences on the WIRL Project platform. To join our community or contribute your own Guest WIRL, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>