Types Of Fructose Intolerance And Its Symptoms

Fructose intolerance can be harmful for your health. Read to know about its types and symptoms of fructose intolerance.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Aug 24, 2021 13:49 IST
Types Of Fructose Intolerance And Its Symptoms

Rising intolerance of certain food among the people has been a cause of concern for many doctors and dieticians. This is because some food nutrients are very essential for our body and lack of it might cause health issues. But people having this intolerance need to be given that nutrient in a way that it does not react to their body in a negative way. Fructose intolerance is when a person is not able to have sugar from naturally occurring fruits, vegetables and honey. This can be quite problematic considering the fact that fructose is present in variety of food items that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and good carbohydrates. Today, let us know about different types of fructose intolerance and its symptoms.

How Fructose Intolerance Affects Health?

Dietician Bisman Tanwar, from R.K Medical Hospital, Chandigarh explains the affects of fructose intolerance on the body. She says that most of the people who are fructose intolerant have difficulty in digesting and maintaining their nutritional health. Their food becomes very limited which is not even good for their health, this results in a number of situations most common amongst it is abdominal pain or bloating. 


Fructose intolerance is mostly natural and can be improved but there are certain cases where the intolerance is because of hereditary causes. This could be more severe as person develops infancy. Without treatment of fructose intolerance, a person might have life threatening complication and diseases such as renal failure, liver damage etc. 

Types of Fructose Intolerance

There are majorly 3 types of fructose intolerance that are evident in people-

1. Fructose mal-absorption

This is a type of food sensitivity where the intolerance is because of genetics, lifestyle factors, exposure to fructose and other related issues. Fructose mal absorption affects almost 40 percent of people having fructose intolerance. In this type of intolerance the fructose is unable to absorb in the stomach or intestines that result to pain and gas in the stomach. This can become more painful over time if not treated well. Some symptoms for fructose mal-absorption are-

  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Bloating

Some people with this fructose sensitivity may also have intolerance of natural and artificial sweeteners which makes it even tougher to make a balanced diet for them.


2. Essential Fructosuria

In this type of fructose intolerance, the essential fructosuria or hepatic fructokinase is the cause behind it. It is a harmless disorder that does not affect your body adversely. In this fructose intolerance, the child is affected only if both parents are affected by fructose intolerance, which is rarely the case. People having this problem mostly have liver problem or liver enzyme called fructokinase that breaks down the fructose from food. People in this condition can recover my simple changes in routine and taking alternative foods to fill their requirement of fructose.

Essential fructosuria does not have any symptoms because it does not affect the body in a distinguishable manner. 

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3. Hereditary Fructose Intolerance

This fructose intolerance is the most severe type of intolerance that occurs because of fructose. This is because the person in this case is not able to digest food of any kind, be it fructose or non-fructose. Hereditary fructose intolerance happens because of lack of sufficient activity of the enzyme responsible for creating fructose in the body and aids in digesting it. Fructose-1 phosphate aldolase is enzyme which helps in most cases to digest fructose. Hereditary fructose intolerance may result to severe complications such as liver failure or kidney failure. The reason behind this is accumulation of fructose in the liver and kidneys.

Symptoms of hereditary fructose intolerance-

  • Delays growth
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice 
  • Impaired development in the body
  • Dislike for sweets at extreme level
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Hyperventilation

Foods to Avoid During Fructose Intolerance

Dietician gives tips to avoid food during fructose intolerance. She says even though little amount of fructose is essential for body growth and health but in this condition it is not possible. Hence people who suffer from this condition need to eliminate fructose from their diet totally. To do so you need to avoid these foods-


•Any food or beverage that contains high fructose corn syrup, which include processed items such as soda, baked goods, fructose corn syrup, etc.

  • Sorbitol that is present in many candies and gums
  • Fruit
  • Fruit sweetened snacks
  • Other artificial sweeteners and preservatives that contain fructose in them

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Fructose is an essential nutrient for our body. Thus people who are fructose intolerant miss out on a huge variety of food products that have fructose in them. Fructose is present in most of the fruits, vegetables and baked items. Hence the person who has this intolerance suffers from loss of important minerals from the body. There are three types of fructose intolerance that occurs in our body, fructose mal-absorption, hereditary fructose intolerance, and essential fructosuria. Symptoms are given for the above mentioned types of intolerance. One must consult a doctor or dietician if he has these symptoms and they become more frequent and evident.

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