After years of digestive problems I have recently been informed that my stools contain sucrose. Does this mean that I have to eliminate all foods that have a sugar content?
Sucrose is a simple sugar composed of fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose which is obtained from sugar cane, it may also be known as Beet sugar, Cane sugar and table sugar. The presence of sucrose in the stool is an indication of the bodies inability to digest and absorb sucrose in the diet. This food intolerance is a non-allergic reaction to a specific food (i.e. sugar). An intolerance to sucrose occurs due to a digestive deficiency of the enzyme Sucrase which metabolises sugars in the stomach and prevents them from fermenting, it splits fructose and glucose for metabolising. The enzyme sucrase is produced in the small intestines, a deficiency of this enzyme results in maldigestion of sugars leading to symptoms and food intolerance.
The human body does not respond well when disaccharides (sugars containing two simple sugar molecules) are either absorbed into the blood stream or delivered undigested into the colon. Undigested sucrose in the colon stimulates the growth of bacteria, Candida and gas formation.
Some common symptoms of sucrose intolerance
- Inability to digest sucrose
- Diarrhea, constipation, flatulence and vomitting
- Hypoglycaemia and headaches
- Nervousness, anxiety and heart palpitations
- Poor weight gain and malnutrition
- Abdominal cramps, bloating and flatulence
Underlying causes of sucrose intolerance may be related to:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Small intestine diseases
Foods to avoid if you are intolerant to sucrose
Avoiding or at least eliminating as many sugar containing foods, starches and fruits from the diet is recommended to eliminate symptoms and let the body heal and repair. You may also consider taking an enzyme supplement to provide the body with the missing enzyme. It is recommended to take a probiotic supplement after a cause of antibiotic therapy to reintroduce healthy bacteria back into the gut and immune system.
Please also see the following Ask a Naturopath.com webpages for more info: