Earlier this year, in fact, just a month ago, my oldest son was diagnosed with fructose malapsorbtion. It was not an easy road to diagnosis. The way was paved with frustration, anger, heartbreak, and confusion.
Months before our diagnosis, my previously potty trained son started having accidents all the time! It started with skid marks in his undies. We would get upset with him and tried everything to get him to make it to the bathroom, rewards, video game time, having to clean up after himself, punishments. I’m ashamed of how often we were so upset with that boy about the potty situation. But nothing we did helped. In fact, he seemed to be having accidents more frequently. We’d find undies hidden in his room. And then, it wasn’t just skid marks, it was full blown accidents. So we put him back in pull ups and took him to the pediatrician.
The pediatrician gave us a simple diagnosis of encopresis, which is loss of bowel control due to constipation. How could this be? My son was never constipated. But we accepted the diagnosis and began a treatment of Miralax twice a day with follow up in a month. Well we did it. And boy was it messy. But there was no real improvement with my son’s bowel movements and he was now in pain all the time.
We went back to the pediatrician who referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Of course, when I called to schedule an appointment we wouldn’t be able to get in for months.
So we waited. And my son continued to struggle. And we continued to struggle.
The day finally came and I can tell you, as we were ushered back and met the doctor I felt relief. He was committed to getting to the bottom of things and I knew we were in good hands. An x-ray showed that my poor little guy was extremely impacted. So we were told to continue the Miralax at a smaller dose, along with a laxative. And wait for test results. He ran bloodwork for thyroid issues as well as celiacs. And we’d follow up in a month.
So we waited. Everything came up negative. My son was going to the bathroom but still in tons of pain.
Our day finally came and the x-ray showed he was clear of impaction (yay!) but he was full of gas, hence why he was in pain. That’s when the doctor mentioned fructose malabsorption. To test for FM, your child must be on a restricted diet the day before the test. The day of the test, he had to drink a fructose solution and give a breath sample frequently over the course of 3 hours.
To make a long story short(er) he came up positive for fructose malabsorption and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Since then, we’ve been trying our best to treat his tummy issues with a low FODMAP diet. I hope to share my stories as a mother of a FM kid and share the foods we enjoy that are easy on his tummy.