ASK THE NATUROPATH... “How can I ease tummy trou­bles?”

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - B+S NATURAL SOLUTIONS - WITH MIM BEIM

ques­tion: I have had tummy prob­lems for years. My doc­tor has di­ag­nosed IBS. What causes it? an­swer: Ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome ( IBS) is a very com­mon digestive com­plaint. Symp­toms are vari­able, but of­ten in­clude ab­dom­i­nal pain, di­ar­rhoea and/or con­sti­pa­tion, bloat­ing and flat­u­lence.

There are many pos­si­ble trig­gers for IBS, in­clud­ing gluten sen­si­tiv­ity and stress. Find­ing the right diet and reme­dies for IBS takes a fair amount of de­tec­tive work, as each in­di­vid­ual is unique. Fruc­tose mal­ab­sorp­tion is a newish area of study spear­headed by Dr Sue Shep­herd, a Vic­to­rian di­eti­tian, who has con­ducted ex­ten­sive re­search into this area.

Fruc­tose mal­ab­sorp­tion may well be a trig­ger for many IBS suf­fer­ers. Fruc­tose is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring su­gar found in fruit and other food. When not di­gested ad­e­quately, fruc­tose and its bi­o­log­i­cally sim­i­lar com­pound, fruc­tan, fer­ment in the in­testines, at­tract­ing water and the wrong kind of bac­te­ria, re­sult­ing in di­ar­rhoea, flat­u­lence and bloat­ing. There is some early ev­i­dence that fruc­tose mal­ab­sorp­tion may also be re­lated to obe­sity, fatty liver dis­ease, re­flux and de­pres­sion.

Di­ag­no­sis is via a breath test. How­ever, by avoid­ing food high in fruc­tose or fruc­tans for a cou­ple of weeks, you will get a good idea if fruc­tose mal­ab­sorp­tion is a prob­lem for you. Foods to avoid in­clude: + Fruit: Fresh or tinned ap­ples, pears, nashi, pa­paya, quince, star fruit, wa­ter­melon, cher­ries, grapes, ly­chees, guavas, hon­ey­dew melon, man­gos and co­conut. Dried cur­rants, raisins, sul­tanas, figs, prunes, dates, ap­ples and pears. + Veg­eta­bles: Onion, leek, asparagus, Jerusalem and globe ar­ti­choke, radic­chio, chicory, spring onion, shal­lot, gar­lic, Le­banese cu­cum­ber, co­conut water, co­conut cream and co­conut milk. + Sweet foods: Honey, corn syrup, fruit juice con­cen­trate, soft drinks, fruc­tose in pro­cessed foods. + Sauces: Tomato sauce and paste, plum sauce, chut­neys, rel­ishes and bar­be­cue sauce. + Wheat prod­ucts: flour, bread, ce­real, pasta, crisp­bread.

If chang­ing your diet sug­gests you have fruc­tose mal­ab­sorp­tion, seek help from a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sional.

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