Fructose intolerance test

What is the fructose intolerance test?

The fructose intolerance test is a diagnostic test to diagnose the malabsorption of sugars by the small intestine, which have passed into the large intestine and alter the intestinal flora.

Why is it performed?

Fructose is a monosaccharide, present in various foods such as sugar and honey, which needs to be metabolized by the liver to be transported into the blood in the form of protein. Fructose intolerance occurs when there is a malabsorption of fructose by the liver, as a consequence it passes to the colon causing various digestive symptoms: abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating and diarrhea are the most common, there are also patients who present nausea, vomiting, headaches and constipation.

Fructose intolerance is a very common pathology, which affects a large part of the population but is often underdiagnosed. The fructose intolerance test is performed to detect this anomaly and to be able to establish a diet low in fructose and thus put an end to the symptoms.

Fructose is the natural sweetener present in fruits and vegetables.

What does the fructose intolerance test consist of?

This diagnostic test is the exhaled hydrogen test performed with the help of a digestive specialist, which consists of an air sample taken from the patient by exhaling into a medical device containing a hydrogen detection sensor.

After an initial air sample is taken to determine the patient’s basal value, a fructose, sorbitol or fructose-sorbitol solution is administered. Subsequently, the patient will blow again into the apparatus over a period of 2 to 3 hours to collect samples and observe the evolution of the patient’s hydrogen levels and symptoms.

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Preparation for the fructose intolerance test

The medical conditions for the fructose intolerance test are as follows:

  • In the 4 weeks prior to the test the patient may not have undergone colonoscopies or enemas or take antibiotics.
  • No laxatives may be used in the week prior to the test.
  • The day before the test, the patient will be able to eat broths without pasta (noodles or similar), rice, grilled meats and fish, and omelet, scrambled or boiled eggs.
  • The patient should not smoke and fast from the night before, except for water (12 hours).
  • Before going to the laboratory for the test, the patient should perform an oral hygiene to reduce interference with bacteria in the mouth.
  • You should inform the health personnel if you have had diarrhea that morning and/or in the previous days.

What does the test feel like?

This is a non-invasive and completely painless test. The patient must remain at rest for the entire duration of the test, and may not chew gum or candy due to the amount of sorbitol that can alter the result. In case of discomfort, vomiting or diarrhea during the test, the health personnel should be informed.

Meaning of abnormal results

Abnormal results in this test are a diagnosis of fructose intolerance and the patient should consult a digestive specialist or nutritionist to develop a dietary plan for symptom remission.