Thursday, March 1, 2012

Healing & Dealing

Hello Friends!

On a different note, I have had a major prayer answered! God is so good. About four years ago, I was really sick and my spleen and liver were both swollen. I was tested for mono and leukemia, but thankfully, I was negative for both, but we didn't have any answers or a diagnosis. Every year of college I have been tested multiple times for diabetes because my blood levels have gone crazy, but it was never consistently seen through blood tests. Then, after my surgeries, I started having a lot of bowel and stomach pain and issues daily. I was referred to a gastroenterologist where I had tons of tests done including a colonoscopy, but every test and biopsy came back normal. After a few months, I was referred to the University of Iowa and was scheduled to have three hydrogen breath tests done.

A hydrogen breath test determines how much hydrogen your body produces after breaking down sugars. The production of hydrogen doesn't normally take place, but it results form your body's inability to break down sugar in the small intestine so the sugar moves further down into the colon where it is broken down by bacteria, which release hydrogen.

I was given a hydrogen breath tests for glucose, fructose and lactose. I was tested with glucose to determine whether or not I had a bacterial over growth in my small intestine. I was tested with fructose to determine whether or not my body is able to digest fructose. I was also tested with lactose to make sure my body was able to break down lactose, the sugar in milk.

About two weeks later, I received a call from a nurse. She shared with me that the glucose and lactose tests came back normal, but that the fructose test showed that I was fructose intolerant. This means that my body is missing the proper enzyme that breaks down fructose.

On one hand, this was a huge blessing, but on the other, it was anything but a blessing.

My spleen and liver had been swollen in response to the excess build up of fructose in my blood. My blood sugar fluctuated like crazy because the fructose and sucrose I had consumed could not enter my blood cells and be used for energy so it would hang out in my blood, making my blood sugar really high sometimes and then crash when it was filtered out. I experienced bowel and stomach issues because there had been such a build up of fructose in my colon.

As you may have wondered, fructose and sucrose are in EVERYTHING! This is why this is anything but a blessing. The only treatment at this point in time is to eliminate all forms of fructose, sucrose and sorbitol from my diet. Eventually, I will be able to test out different foods to see how much of them I can handle.

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