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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a pescatarian from age five years, then a vegetarian for about two years.

Then I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption (after a year long slew of tests). Basically, I don't digest fructose so goodlike. That includes high-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, and most other sweeteners that are fructose or sucrose based. But it also includes virtually all fruits and many vegetables. At this time, I went through an elimination diet. To adjust to this major change, I began eating meat to ease into it, as options are pretty limited during the elimination diet.

Once I began reintroducing moderately tolerated foods back into my diet, I began to revisit my vegetarian diet. After a few months of a vegetarian diet and feeling that I had more options, I made the switch to veganism. I've now been a vegan for almost two years now.

However, after years of being lazy with my fructose malabsorption, I'm beginning to notice a build up and plan to go back to the very basic elimination diet to reset myself a bit. Unfortunately, the lack of options is still problematic. I want to make sure I reset completely so I can revisit which foods actually do trigger me, but am not sure how to do it in a fairly healthy manner without giving up my veganism.

It might be a long shot but does anyone else have any experience or knowledge about fructose malabsorption or intolerance? Any tips/opinions/suggestions on maintaining a vegan lifestyle while resetting my fructose-free diet?
 

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I don't know about fructose malabsorption, but I understand there are two kinds (http://www.foodintol.com/fructose-intolerance/fructose-malabsorption) and you probably have the least severe one, am I right? I have a few other questions:

1. does your fructose intolerance vary depending on the type of food (source of fructose), or on the quantity of fructose in that particular food?

2. besides not being able to digest it properly, do you have any severely upsetting symptoms that make you want to avoid eating those foods?

However, after years of being lazy with my fructose malabsorption, I'm beginning to notice a build up and plan to go back to the very basic elimination diet to reset myself a bit.

3. what do you mean by `being lazy`, `build up` and `resetting`?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, I apologize for not responding -- I thought this did not post, as my computer had rebooted before I thought it posted.

buglady -- I do have fructose malabsorption, not intolerance, so my condition is less severe, but still a notable issue.
In response to your questions:

1. It mostly depends on the ratio of fructose to glucose. For example, apples have a very high amount of fructose and much less glucose, so when they combine into sucrose, there is much more "free fructose" left over, which causes the problem. Foods that are known fructans are more troublesome, though. There isn't a lot of information about malabsorption because it isn't as commonly diagnosed and people have different tolerance levels, just like people who have lactose intolerance.

2. I can't digest it properly, so my symptoms cause my to feel awful all the time. During my year-long journey to a diagnosis, I was all kinds of sick. I have severe gas and other gastro problems (often including diarrhea, vomiting, and making a very bizarre gurgling sound every 30-60 seconds), my stomach hurts all the time, I have severe headaches, I break out and bloat (that year of figuring things out, I fluctuated between 4 pant sizes, depending on the day). I sometimes get a bit itchy. I also know that there is a link between depression/anxiety and fructose malabsorption. As someone who already suffers from severe depression/anxiety, it's just another reason to avoid the food. All of these symptoms combined, it makes it incredibly difficult to function day-to-day.

3. When diagnosed with FM, I was put on a very strict fructose-free diet. During this time, I did eat for an easier transition and to avoid being sick due to nutrient deficiency, etc (I was in high school in a very small town with very few vegan resources at the time. It was hard enough without the FM. The ease was important to me). After 6 weeks on the very strict diet, you are encouraged to slowly introduce possible trouble foods to test your tolerance to them. For example, I tried to reintroduce garlic and tomato-based sauces first. Once I found out what I could tolerate in small doses, I began to get complacent. I could realistically handle half a banana every other day if I didn't eat a lot of other moderate trouble foods, like tomato-based products or products with sugar that wasn't specified as 'cane.' However, I would eat a whole banana, along with spaghetti sauce and brown sugar all in one day and do something similar the next. The immediate symptoms were mild enough to ignore. However, one can develop a build up in the intestines. In fact, when I was first diagnosed, I had gone so long not knowing that I had a bacteria overgrowth in my intestine that I needed medication for. Without being able to digest the small amounts of fructose in the foods, it can build up and worsen the symptoms. By resetting, I'm referring to going back to the very basic, strict diet I was on in my first 6 weeks.

Wow again. Sorry for the lengthy reply -- terseness is not one of my strengths, I suppose, haha.

ElaineV: I have looked at the website! The only difficulty I have is that the blog writer has probably worked their way up to being able to tolerate some of these foods. For example, they use a lot of peppers and zucchini and sweet potatoes, all of which have been restricted in all of my research and personal experimentation. Some of the recipes I definitely want to look into once I begin to reintroduce though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also notable:

As many fruits and vegetables are off the menu, vegan "meats" and "dairy" have become a staple. However, many of them have ingredients such as xanthan gum, which is also a problem food.
I have also recently discovered a nut allergy, which has made it even more difficult and, as a peanut butter addict, very upsetting.
 

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I can really sympathize with you as much of what you say sounds just like my Mother. She has lactose intolerance, so most dairy is cut out and fructose intolerance and it makes it so difficult for her on a daily basis. She has lost a ton of weight which may sound good but not in this way. It seems to be getting worse and even things that were okay are sometimes not okay.

I see that you have a nut allergy now. You must wonder - what next?

Despite seeing a doctor, dietician and now specialist, there really hasn't been any change. I am worried about her and feel for you also. There seems to be an increasing number of people with intolerance or malabsorption problems.

I hope that you can make some headway into relieving your symptoms.
 

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Hi! I'm incredibly sorry to hear what you have to go through but I think I may help. I'm no doctor, nutritionist, dietician, health coach or the like BUT I have a real knack on helping those who want to stay or go vegan while working with their food intolerances/allergies. My question to you is this:

"What foods are you able to eat? What foods can you have minimally? What foods can you have liberally? & what foods must you avoid?"

If you list out what you can or cannot have, I can help with recipes, if you'd like!

Anyway, tons of blessings!! :)
 

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Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
 

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Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
Hi RachelS!
I just found this board in my search for help. I am trying to switch to a whole foods plant based diet, and was recently diagnosed with fructose malabsorption. My digestive symptoms are severe, and I need to heal, but I don't know what to eat. One site seems to differ from the next, and I am so hungry, so I end up eating something that isn't good. I would love to know if you have found any helpful resources, or to hear more about your own journey.
Thank you so much!
Christie
 

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Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
Hi RachelS
I just stumbled across this blog as a vegan who has just been diagnosed with FM. I would so love to read your research paper and your safe foods list!! I'm so confused with different websites telling me different things... I just don't know what I can eat :-(
If you could send it my way I'd be really grateful, my email address is [email protected]
Kind Regards
Alice
 

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May I have your paper too??

Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
Hello RachelS!!
I too really struggle from fructose malabsorption (and I am vegan) and am having many issues with my health. I would love it if you could send me your research paper as well as safe foods to eat! That would be really helpful! Thank You :)
Here is my email: [email protected]
~ Anna
 

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Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
Hello, my name's Georgie and I stumbled across your comment while researching. I am a FM (strict) vego who wants to go vegan. Would love to grab that research paper and any recipes you have. Email [email protected].
 

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@moriko and @gmoore i would delete the email from your posts. There are spam bots that might grab your email addresses. PM them to the poster is safer.

Carry on ?

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 

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Hi cassilynj! I am also vegan and have fructose malabsorption. SO glad to know I'm not the only one! I majored in psychology and nutrition, and would love to work as an eating behaviors counselor. I have made FM my pet project (since it is so completely awful) so I have done quite a lot of research and self-experimentation to find safe foods. I can send you my research paper, my list of safe foods, or both if you are interested. Thankfully I love to cook, so I can pass along recipes as well. I hope you have been managing, because I know how terrible it can be. Let me know if I can help!
Hi RachelS,
would it still be possible to receive a copy of your research paper that you mention in this post.
 
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