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Healing Fructose and FODMAP Malabsorption

Author: Rebecca CardenSeptember 15, 2016

Is healing fructose and FODMAP malabsorption possible?

Research indicates that yes it is which is great news as it makes us sad when we have to turn away customers who are unable to eat with us due to fructose or FODMAP issues.

Although we have tried to accommodate for both of these diets in the past, unfortunately it proved too labor intensive for our kitchen crew to create separate modified meals and we pulled the pin. It’s our hope that not too far away we will have a dedicated kitchen team to cater just for these particular diets.

In the meantime though, what we wanted to touch on was this-

Are you stuck with forever being on a low fructose or FODMAP diet?

Research is showing us that the answer to this question is ‘no’.

Following a low fructose, fodmap diet needs only to be a temporary measure rather than a lifelong sentence but only if you focus on healing your gut.

You see Leaky Gut or gut permeability has been shown to have strong implications for malabsorption issues.

Increased intestinal permeability (IP) otherwise known as leaky gut syndrome, refers to perforations in the gut wall that cause inflammation in the gut wall and damage to microvilli – where digestive enzymes are found. If the gut wall is damaged, absorption of nutrients is hindered and food particles are able to cross over to the blood stream where they do no not belong. Causes of IP include medication use, poor nutrition, stress, coeliac disease, infections and pathogens, food allergies, fructose and lactose intolerance. 

Most people are not born with these issues, instead they acquire it later in life. Often it’s a secondary problem that arises from a primary gastrointestinal issue so more often than not, something has already been going on with digestion which has led to this intolerance forming.  This implies that we can also remedy the situation.

Gut repair work is essential to healing the digestive tract from the very issues that caused malabsorption in the first place. Without a gut healing regime in place whilst you are following the low fructose/ fodmap diet, you may well be destined to stay on that diet forever.

Here is our suggestion-stick to your low fodmap/ fructose diet for at least 3-6 months.

At the same time though, focus on gut repair with foods such as bone broth daily, collagen and colostrum powders (grass fed only), green vegetable juices and supplements such as N Acetyl Glucosamine and Glutamine which work to repair the gut wall and reduce inflammation at the same time. These supplements are best prescribed by your Naturopath as quality varies from brand to brand.

It is best to reduce or stop your intake of fermented foods and probiotics for a short while or swap to a probiotic that doesn’t produce lactic acid which can exacerbate problems for people with malabsorption. Slowly begin to reintroduce fermented foods (very slowly) beginning with liquids before moving onto fermented veggies.

This is an example of a day's diet by someone who is healing their gut from fructose malabsorption to give you an idea of what this might look light for you. Plenty of healthy fats is key though!

"My diet is very simple and I will tell you exactly what I eat for those of you who have struggled with IBS or gut problems for many years and can't get well. Right when I wake up, I take a colostrum and probiotic supplement. Then I fix a cup or two of my homemade chicken or beef bone broth with sea salt. For breakfast, I cook chopped up butternut squash in Ghee with two pastured eggs. For lunch, I have a large sweet potato with Kerrygold butter on it and some organic roasted chicken. For dinner, it's steamed swiss chard, zucchini and some fish. For my snacks, I munch on a half of a cup of activated organic cashews throughout the day. I use fresh parsley, lemon and cilantro to season my food".

-Lori

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If you know you have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) Take a prokinetic. A prokinetic is something that stimulates movement in the small intestine and helps to clear out bacteria from where it doesn’t belong, in this case the small intenstine.

Ginger essential oil is a natural, safe and side effect free prokinetic which can be taken in a capsule or with a teaspoon of coconut oil. It works a treat! 

Thyme, lavender and peppermint oils have each been shown to support and enhance the efficacy of probiotic therapy which is interesting whilst working to reduce inflammation and kill off the harmful bacteria. Oils of Cinnamon, oregano, cilantro and melaleuca are very effective against harmful bacteria though may not work as synergistically with the prior three mentioned.

This indicates that using essential oils of cinnamon, oregano and melaleuca to initially combat the bacteria as antimicrobial agents at the beginning of treatment might be best and then transitioning over to thyme, peppermint and lavender once the reintroduction of probiotics has begun.

So that’s our two cents on healing Fructose and FODMAP malabsorption. It doesn’t need to be a life sentence if you do the work that your body needs you to do. Don’t neglect your gut bacteria whilst you follow the diet, that is the KEY to getting you digestive system back on track.

If you would like further information on incorporating essential oils into your gut health regime, feel free to reach out to us.

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