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Refined Sugar

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I've had intestinal reactions over the past couple of years even though I am VERY careful about my gluten-free diet. (note: it's been 9 years since I'm on a gluten-free diet) After some experimentation over about a year, I talked with my Gastroenterologist last year, informing him that I suspect that it is sugar that is causing me difficulty, but he assured me that sugars are about the easiest thing for our bodies to digest and absorb. He told me that it is likely something that is in the food that also contains the sugar.

After another year of more thorough experimentation, I am VERY convinced that it is processed sugar that causes me difficulty. NOT fruits, NOT lactose, NOT artificial sweeteners, but refined sugars. Everything seems to point to this.

I've booked another appointment with my Gastroenterologist and am hoping he'll help me in figuring this out.

In the mean time, I've been on a STRICT sugar-free diet for the last 2 weeks. I am pleased to say that I feel better now than ever and have had zero intestinal issues.

I also realize that cutting sugar out of my diet has it's own additional positive health effects. Like people have said to me: if you had to cut something out of your diet, sugar is a good one to go. It's still a challenge. And I still want to know for sure that sugar is the culprit.

Has anyone else with Celiac have sensitivity to processed sugars only (NOT including lactose or fruit)? Or heard of this?

Thank you so much.

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I'd say maybe do a little investigation into candida overgrowth... if you are having intestinal discomfort it could be due to fermentation of unprocessed sugars. Candida and gluten intolerance have alot of common symptoms and I believe personally go hand in hand. Just google candida overgrowth (if you haven't already) and you'll find a ton of info about symptoms. Your GI will have little interest in this and will never agree that you have it (or it's very unlikely). You could see an alternative practitioner for some help as well.

HTH!

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It

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*raises hand*

I am allergic to sugar cane. I kept a food journal before I was able to see a doctor about it, and sugarcane was one of the first things that had an obvious connection to my symptoms. It was later confirmed with an allergy test. I was also told, years and years ago when I mentioned the possibility because I'd noticed I don't always feel to great after a lot of sugar, that it was impossible to react to sugar.

:rolleyes:

I don't get hives, but tend to get headaches or this kind of spacy feeling. Often flu-like symptoms, stomach issues if I eat too much, and a MASSIVE craving for the stuff. Sore throat now happens, since I've been off of it for a while.

I don't have yeast issues, or problems with other sweeteners (other than gluten cc problems) or with fructose/fruit. It's just the sugarcane.

If you are wondering if your reaction is an allergy specifically, there's actually a pretty good way to check. Fully processed sugar has most of the sugar protein eliminated. There's usually less than 5ppm of sugar proteins left, from what I've read. Typically more like 1-2 ppm, really.

The sugar used in most of the gluten-free foods is less processed. If you look, it's usually evaporated cane juice. This has a lot more of the allergen present. If I remember right, you can find evaporated cane juice for sale at health food stores or places like Whole Foods. If you stay off sugar for a while and then try this, and then stay off for a while and try fully processed sugar like C&H or Dominos sugar (in the States), you can see how you react.

A stronger reaction to the less processed sugar would likely indicate an allergy. :)

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Thanks everyone.

What is the difference between a sugar allergy and a sugar intolerance? The reason I ask is to try to figure out who to visit next (ex. my allergist that I already have for my air-borne allergies). Could an allergy be missed - or not considered - by a Gastroenterologist? I realize that a specialist in one area may not think of potential causes outside of his/her expertise. It's good to at least know of potential questions to ask at my upcoming appointment.

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This is my understanding of the difference. I probably shouldn

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Both allergies and intolerance could produce similar outward symptoms? I don't get any skin reactions. I should mention that I was tested negative for signs of diabetes on a recent physical (didn't bother talking with my general doctor on this at the time as I wanted to speak with the specialist first).

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The main issue with sugar is fructose malabsorption, but if you don't react to fruit at all that isn't the problem.

Lori2 - I have the same understanding. Allergies produce classic symptoms very rapidly. Itching, swelling, hives, edema, rhinitis, and other symptoms related to histamine release from mast cell degranulation. They're triggered by IgE. Allergies also usually respond very nicely to antihistamines.

Intolerances don't tend to respond to antihistamines and I don't think the mechanism is as well understood. Symptoms can be broad, and they can take longer to appear than allergies.

I'm fascinated by the possibility of cane sugar sensitivity. I can't tolerate refined sugar well at all but I had always thought it was some sort of carb reaction. It had never occurred to me that it could be a reaction to sugar cane. Off to try baking with some beet sugar!

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I have IgG allergies. A naturopath can check for those with a blood test. An allergist would normally be the one to check for IgE allergies. Those are the ones that can kill you. Sometimes other Drs. can do this test. It is either by a skin prick or a blood test.

But then there are those things that don't fall into either category. For me that is garlic. I can tolerate a very small amount. But not a lot. It doubles me over with stomach pains. So I just don't eat it.

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This is my understanding of the difference. I probably shouldn

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Non-celiac gluten intolerance is looking to be a reaction mediated by innate immunity, not humoral immunity. Antibodies aren't even involved. Gluten peptide directly causes mucosal inflammation in some people.

This is the problem with the catch-all words "intolerance" or "sensitivity". They don't mean much and change from food to food and person to person.

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Both allergies and intolerance could produce similar outward symptoms? I don't get any skin reactions.

According to my allergist, probably, but not always. Intolerances that involve the lack of certain enzymes, like the lactase mentioned above, are better understood. But enzymes aren't the only way we break down food, so sometimes the lack of other things are what cause the problem, certain substances in our bodies.

And some intolerances are simply named that because we don't have another name for it. Essentially, a person eats something and feels terrible, and doctors don't know why, or what is going on. Not a clue. Before IgE tests were invented, these were called allergies, because anything that the body reacted to incorrectly was called an allergy. Since the discover of IgE, everything that ISN'T IgE mediated was dropped from the allergists' purvue. This is changing slowly, because they are starting to realize that there is more going on than just IgE in some cases.

However, for typical IgE allergies, my allergist says there are two different ways the body reacts. One is the traditional hives on the skin type of reaction. This tends to involve the whole body, breathing can be compromised, anaphylaxis can occur in the worst cases. Another is the gastro-intestinal system reacting to the allergen. This one CAN result in hives, but rarely does. It also rarely gets a positive on the skin test, because the skin isn't reacting to it, your insides are. So in this case, the inflammation and other nastiness is going on INSIDE your body, but not so visibly outside of it.

If you ever get a true hive-ridden allergic reaction, you tend to feel beat down, achy, exhausted, horrid. Sometimes get headaches and such. I tend to get this with a few medications.

My sugarcane allergy is just like that, but without the hives, and with some gastro issues instead (the runs, that sort of thing). I have met many people who don't even get enough of the gastro issues to notice, but get congestion, aches and pains, etc...

This is one of the reasons that these often don't get diagnosed, because they are only really recently starting to be acknowledged by a lot of allergists. The hives reaction is much more the type we think about when we think of allergies, you know?

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Both the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet have a lot to say about this! (For more info, go to the blog linked from my profile and search on GAPS Resources).

Really quickly, monosaccharide sugars are easily digested, while disaccharide and polysaccharide sugars are not. They are physically different from each other on the molecular level and need different processing in the gut. Table sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide sugar and so not as readily digested, especially by a gut that has already sustained damage. This is why on the GAPS and SCD diets, many fruits and honey are allowed (after a slow introduction period), but table sugar and starchy vegetables are not.

Here is the SCD Legal Foods list. GAPS is more restrictive and doesn't allow the processed crap that is in some cases allowed with the SCD, but this should give you an idea.

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/legal_illegal_a-c.htm

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Thanks everyone.

What is the difference between a sugar allergy and a sugar intolerance? The reason I ask is to try to figure out who to visit next (ex. my allergist that I already have for my air-borne allergies). Could an allergy be missed - or not considered - by a Gastroenterologist? I realize that a specialist in one area may not think of potential causes outside of his/her expertise. It's good to at least know of potential questions to ask at my upcoming appointment.

My food allergy was missed by my gastro and immunologist. It took my elimination diet (Specific Carb Diet) and a dermatologist to figure out that I was allergic to tree nuts.

Originally, I was having problems getting better on a gluten-free diet. My gastro sent me to an immunologist who did allergy testing via prick tests and blood tests, but I had weird results when I didn't react to any of the pricks, including the histamine "control." It has something to do with antibody deficiency... so I still don't know everything that I'm allergic to (if any). But those pricks only tell you what you're allergic to, not intolerant or sensitive to.

Through the diet I was able to see that when I added nuts into my diet I broke out into hives, eczema, rhinitus, throat swelling, and other "allergy" symptoms. I went to the dermatologist for meds to control the eczema, and he helped me tie together the symptoms to the food trigger. When I added corn, I developed gastro issues, brain fog, lethargy, neuro issues, among others. For me - nuts is an allergy, and corn is an intolerance.

Good luck!

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I've had intestinal reactions over the past couple of years even though I am VERY careful about my gluten-free diet. (note: it's been 9 years since I'm on a gluten-free diet) After some experimentation over about a year, I talked with my Gastroenterologist last year, informing him that I suspect that it is sugar that is causing me difficulty, but he assured me that sugars are about the easiest thing for our bodies to digest and absorb. He told me that it is likely something that is in the food that also contains the sugar.

After another year of more thorough experimentation, I am VERY convinced that it is processed sugar that causes me difficulty. NOT fruits, NOT lactose, NOT artificial sweeteners, but refined sugars. Everything seems to point to this.

I've booked another appointment with my Gastroenterologist and am hoping he'll help me in figuring this out.

In the mean time, I've been on a STRICT sugar-free diet for the last 2 weeks. I am pleased to say that I feel better now than ever and have had zero intestinal issues.

I also realize that cutting sugar out of my diet has it's own additional positive health effects. Like people have said to me: if you had to cut something out of your diet, sugar is a good one to go. It's still a challenge. And I still want to know for sure that sugar is the culprit.

Has anyone else with Celiac have sensitivity to processed sugars only (NOT including lactose or fruit)? Or heard of this?

Thank you so much.

It's even more likely to trigger my secondary RA flares.. even more so than nightshades. I avoid it at all costs now. I think there are SIBO implications as well. I would trust your gut on this one. I think you have it figured out.

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In response to you post., I've had a problem with refined sugar all of my life where I break out with large pus irruptions all over my body. Mostly now in my later years (now 59) on my face and scalp. Everything these days have refined sugar in it so it is a real challenge to fined foods that doesn't have any refined sugar in it. I did go to a doctor once and told him of my refined sugar problem and he told me that was impossible. Doctors aren't the best people to ask about this questions especially the young doctors. Over the years I have found that if I stayed away from refined sugar I begin to look different and feel better. A good book on this subject is "Sugar Blues" by William Duffey. Respect your body and it will respect you.

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I haven't felt great after almost a year of diagnosis.  I got tired of hearing from my old g.i. that gluten is  somehow sneaking into my diet.  Went to a new g.i. who ordered blood work, stool test, and hydrogen blood test.  I kept telling him that I swear sugar has to be a problem. First, blood tests showed that my antibodies were nearly undetectable, so he was surprised about that, but congratulated me on following my gluten-free diet so well.  Test results show that I had SIBO (a bacterial problem in small intestine).  First, I was put on a low fodmap diet and issued antibiotics.  Overnight improvement!  I needed a second round of antibiotics, and I'm now onto the challenge phase of the diet introducing forbidden foods back into the diet.  He asked that I see the dietician before trying it on my own.  For the first time in two years, I feel normal.  He suggested a book for me to read called The Complete Low-FodMap Diet by Peter Gibson, MD.  Hope this helps!

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