Confessions of a teen with a fructose intolerance

December 14, 2009
By laurennnnnxo84 GOLD, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
laurennnnnxo84 GOLD, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
10 articles 4 photos 4 comments

When I was a mere eight years old I remember the nights I would sit clutching my stomach, silent blue tears falling down my face. I remember the days where I would cry to God, asking him to make the pain stop. It's hard for an eight year old to go through these pains, not knowing exactly what is wrong. Although it was never God's fault, I continually blamed him for doing this to me. At the time I did not understand how to deal with these stomach pains or even how to gain the to courage to go and figure out the problem.

I am sure you all remember the day you broke your leg, your arm, the day you got the biggest sliver in your foot, or the day you got your heart broken. Can you remember the excruciating pain, even the feeling of all hope being lost? Imagine that pain, around three or four times a week. Would you want to live through that? Back track to that day and remember what you were thinking and feeling. The thoughts that may have gone through your head were things like, “why is this happening to me,” or, “when will this pain end.” In truth, the pain would probably stop soon, within a few hours or a few days at most. The thing that is hard is that the pain you were probably experiencing was something I had to go through each and almost every day,

Meet your average ten year old girl. She's a very bright and happy person, sometimes. She played soccer, had friends, even had an average life. Although, on the inside she was breaking. Not only did she have to suffer through the pains of growing up, but she had to make it through the random stomach aches she would have more than once or twice a week. Then, her stomach aches come less and less, never really bothering her anymore.

This little girl has begun growing into a young adult, maturing and understanding things in ways almost impossible through the experiences she had faced along the way. Her baby blue eyes glowered with each little laugh she took, her sand-blonde hair flying in the wind, and her small tan legs running all over the yard. Her parents were absolutely glad that their baby girl no longer suffered the pains of the stomach aches that were uncommonly known to the whole family.

Blonde hair turning dishwater color, gaining height inch by inch, and eyes changing into a more sea colored green, the little daughter reached her eighth grade year. Little did the small family know, nor the girl herself, that her long-gone stomach aches were not so far away from her. Within the years since the girl was eight, the stomach pains came back, but only this time they were worse.

Now, everyday this girl suffered. She never wanted to go out to eat with her friends, never wanted to go to sleepovers, or even hangout with her friends. Her life was being to downfall and hit the ultimate turmoil. Her fears of the stomach aches reaching her when she was with her friends scared her so much that she could never gain the courage. She had become to connect with the eight year old girl she had once been. The tears began streaming down her face, the same old blaming tactics had gone on in her head, but a new thought had crossed her mind. She didn't care if her life ended that day, all she wanted was the pain to stop. She furthermore believed that nobody could help her, that not a sole experienced the same problem she had.

Around December time during her eighth grade year, the young girl had finally gained the courage to face her problem. After countless months of egging her on, encouraging her, and even inconsiderately forcing her, the young girls parents finally found a way to give their daughter hope. She met with her doctor, who took a blood test, ending up coming back normal, and was then referred to get an ultrasound.

She giggled as the doctor spread gel across her tummy, but sat obediently through the whole appointment. She was looking forward to figuring out the problem and nipping it in the butt once and for all. This test too came out normal when the doctor couldn't find anything wrong in the ultrasound.

After her second visit with her stomach, her doctor then referred her to a gastroenterologist, or stomach specialist. She went, confidence trailing, and talked with the specialist. He asked her about things like bowl movements and what she drank on a daily basis. Laughing she responded, “Juice boxes, gatorade, pop, propel, you know, stuff like that.” She looked up to see her doctor wide eyed with an excited smile painting its way onto his face. Softly explaining the doctor replied, “Here's what I think...”

Hello there, my name is Lauren. I am fifteen years old and suffer from a condition called fructose intolerance. Basically, my stomach cannot absorb high amounts of fructose, which cause the stomach aches I get. If you have never heard of fructose it is known as high fructose corn syrup, or commonly as sugar. Fructose is a man made substance, even a lot cheaper than natural sugar, and is therefore in more foods.

As you all may know, liquids go through you faster while foods tend to take awhile longer as they digest. Making a list of the things I can and cannot eat or drink would take to long, so I will name the main things. Some of the things I cannot drink include: Gatorade, pop, powerade, and even icees. Since drinks go through you faster, I really have to watch what I drink. For instance, I had not even one third of an icee and within five minutes pains were already grumbling their way into my stomach. In moderation I can eat most foods, although on my favorite holiday, Halloween, I cannot eat the candy without getting a stomach ache. All kids sneak candy, with a few stomach aches as they gobble down too much and making themselves sick, but for me I can eat around ten pieces before the tears circulate in my eyes and I'm screaming.

It is hard for me now and always has been. I don't talk about my condition a lot with my friends because they don't know what it feels like or have no idea how to help. I don't like dwelling on my problems, but it's hard to dismiss the pain that's forcing its way into my mind. Since I have learned and diagnosed my problem things seem to be working. I don't get as many stomach aches when I'm good about what I eat and drink, but I also am struggling with trying to fit in.

Friends will drink Gatorade or pop in front of me, not even remembering how hard it is for me to sit there and see the blue liquid fall from the tip of the bottle to their waiting thirsty mouth. It's hard to go somewhere and have to embarrassingly ask what the ingredients are in the food or drink, or sit in the aisles at Cub Foods checking the ingredients on everything I want to buy.

Even though it is hard for me to suffer through the stares of waiters as a blonde skinny girl orders diet pop, which is the only pop without fructose in it, or tell people I simply can't eat that, I survive day by day. I am writing this to tell you about a condition that some are suffering through. I understand how hard it is for people with this problem, so if you know someone who has this problem, offer a shoulder and an ear. Most times out of a ten, a person will want this opportunity. Don't walk away if they don't want to share, just offer support and tell them your always there. Please don't hesitate if you have experienced these symptoms or problems, but also don't diagnose yourself. You need to go to the doctors and figure out this problem because in the end it is going to your benefit. To all who have read this, feel free and do not fret in posting comments or asking me questions because I am here to answer them.

The author's comments:
I just want to share my story with all those out their who are going through similar situations. You are not the only one with this problem.

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This article has 0 comments.

Beliber1912 said...
on Nov. 18 2015 at 12:34 pm
This has help sooooo much thank you
Also so true A lot has been happening around the world and Knowing nowhere is safe bugs me and just want everything to be okay again

MNMom2015 said...
on Nov. 18 2015 at 12:54 am
Hi Lauren, I was searching for "fructose intolerance teen" and found your posting at the top results. Must have been fate since my daughter is also 15 years old and has fructose intolerance and we live in your school district. Not sure how long ago you wrote this though. She is having nausea, belching and stomach pain. I showed her your article. It was so good for her to see that she isn't alone with this. I started a strict fructose and lactose free diet yesterday after seeing a dietician at MN Gastroenterology last week. It is so hard for her. I'm hoping this diet will help her. She had the breath test for fructose which was positive. She has had blood tests and ultrasounds and even a scope of her insides stomach and throat. All normal. Guess we were in denial of fructose. Anyway I would love to talk to your mom. It would be great to connect with someone else who is suffering from this. If she is interested, please comment back and we can figure out a way to connect. I am a Girl Scout leader in Woodbury. Thanks! Julie


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