Monday, January 23, 2012

Fructose Malabsorption testing

Anthony and I visited Seattle Children's Hospital earlier today to have him tested for fructose malabsorption, which I discussed a couple of posts back.

Waiting around, playing Angry Birds on mom's phone.

Thankfully, it's a really simple, non-invasive procedure. How does it work? We arrived at the hospital. We checked in, went down to the lab, and the lab confirmed with us that he'd had a low fiber diet the day before, and fasted for 10 hours before. Yes and yes. Then they had him blow into a bag, as a baseline. He drank a few ounces of a really sweet solution consisting of just fructose and water (the worst part, really, as it led to a tummy ache, but it was nice going down...). Then he blew into a bag every 30 minutes to measure his body's production of hydrogen gas.

All done!
That was it! About an hour into the test, after the third breath sample, the lab technician came out and said, "We're all done. We have a positive result."

Children's then faxed the results to Anthony's pediatrician, who called us later today. She said, "Anthony has fructose malabsorption. The big things to avoid immediately are high fructose fruits, and anything with high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything, I'm afraid."

Our next step is to meet with a gastroenterology specialist, either a doctor or an ARNP, to discuss Anthony's diagnosis in detail. It basically means he can't eat most processed foods (yay!), but it means a lot more work on our part to ensure that he's getting the nutrition he needs. The doctor stressed that "The good news is this isn't something like cancer, diabetes, or celiac disease, it's basically an intolerance." Very true. We're extremely fortunate to have something that means he'll be eating better than 98% of his peers and that is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Still...we want our little guy to feel good.

Of course, now, whenever I see those commercials for the "Corn Sugar Refiners Association" saying, "Corn sugar is just like cane sugar in how it's processed by the body. Sugar is sugar! It's safe!" I yell and scream at the TV. It might be processed similarly by the body, but for a significant portion of the population, it is not the same.

I prefer this spoof from Saturday Night Live over any of those awful commercials.

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