Sunday, June 3, 2007

Living with Celiac Disease & Fructose Intolerance

"Faery Dance" (c)2003
Acrylic on Panel, 12"x16"

(c) All Rights Reserved
I decided to write down a bit of my life story because I get a lot of questions from people going through similar experiences wondering what I eat, how I was diagnosed, etc. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (No gluten- wheat, barley, rye & oats) after living a life of digestive distress. Then in 2006 I was diagnosed with fructose intolerance (no fruit across the board, and very limited veggies in my diet). Even though my diet is very restricted, I am the healthiest I have ever been and feel good for the first time in many, many years. My life back. It is wonderful!

My story in a nutshell: (Well, it is longer than I thought.. You might want to sit back with a cup of tea)
I have always had problems with my digestion; starting as an infant where part of my intestines were removed. Problems remained throughout time. (I can tell you where most bathrooms are in any place I have been- true story!) I always knew it was caused from food, even when doctors told me that there was no such thing as food allergies or problems (this is when I was a child). But to feel well, I kept trying to figure it out by eliminating foods that I “thought” made me sick. For the longest time I blamed everything on meat- so I thought being a vegetarian (14 years) would answer all my problems. It didn’t. I kept getting worse and remained a medical mystery. Because I was misdiagnosed for most of my life, Gluten & Fructose took a toll on my system and caused other health problems. Finally, in my mid-30’s a medical abstract came across my desk on Celiac Disease. I thought someone wrote a book on me. Thankfully, I found a good doctor who tested me for it, and sure enough, this is the problem. Within weeks, I began seeing improvement. But I didn’t fully get better. Then after another Mayo Clinic quest, I was tested & diagnosed with fructose intolerance. I am feeling so much better following these diets- better than I have ever felt. With diet, Spring Forest Qigong, Psych-K, traditional & complementary medicine, etc. I have found much improvement. So now I am basically a meat & potatoes girl, which is kind of funny after being a vegetarian for so many years. Family & friends still take a double look at me when I am eating meat. So even though my life has been a rollercoaster; I can thank prayer & insight/intuition, great doctors & healers, determination & persistence, etc. as helping me live each day creating wellness for myself & helping others. I am a testimony that life can improve and can become full again.

So, in future Blog entries, I’ll share more tips, food ideas & recipes, & things that helped in my healing process. I want to share this information so that no one else has to suffer for decades with a disease that is very treatable with diet. It might not be fun, but it is so worth it to feel good again! One of my doctors said “You can do this” as I stared back at her with wide eyes. And she was right. It can be done.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

thank you for your useful article
your story is very similar to mine diagnosed coeliac first then fructose intolerant
but I cannot seem to tolerate potatoes which I used to eat lots of
was wondering if anyone else with fructose intolerance had found this a problem
thanks again

Colleayn said...

The only potato I am able to eat is the large russet baking potato without the skin. I get sick on yellow & red potatoes, as well as smaller ones. The skin and other potatoes have more fructose. Do you have problems with Russet potatoes too?

Sherry said...

Thanks for all your posts! Speaking of meat and potatoes... I too have been on a medical mystery tour since my life began. They diagnosed me early on with an underdeveloped digestive system. I think that was the catch all term used 43 years ago but now is called IBS. I always thought to be healthy I had to eat plenty of fruits and veggies. That never worked for me, I always felt worse. I've been celiac diagnosed for 9 years and 1 1/2 years ago found out about FM. The gastro didn't pay much attention to my test and said to cut back on some fruits - that was all they said!! For the next year I had been trying to figure this out on my own. It seems the so-called experts don't have the right information or it's conflicting. So, in the meantime I am coming to terms that I may be able to be healthy on mostly meat and potatoes!

Begone, intransience. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Begone, intransience. said...

Most potatoes contain over 1000 mg of fructose and are also composed of sucrose, which breaks down into equal parts glucose and fructose. In total, that's an estimated 1600 mg of fructose per potato.

kai said...

hi colleyan,

is sweet potato ok to consume? are you able to torelate them?

Colleayn said...

Hi, I'm not able to eat sweet potato due to the fructose, but i do eat lots of russet potatoes without the skins.

kai said...

ok thanks...does russet potato has low fructose and what is the fructose/glucose ratio? out side sell without the skin or you peel them yourself?

Colleayn said...

Hi Kai,

A great website to find fructose to glucose ration is: This link will bring you right to the russet potato, but it does include the skin. You can search any food. Scroll down to see the sugar content on their website. I buy large bags of potatoes and peel them myself.

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing your story!! I'm recently diagnosed with fructose intolerance (in addition to gluten and lactose intolerance). Please share some recipes - I look forward to reading them!

kai said...

hi colleayn, are 3 grams of table sugar same as 3 grams of fructose? do you know of any vegetable that are higher in glucose than fructose? what i found is celery only.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was diagnosed at 1 1/2 yrs old and she just got diagnose with fructose malabsorption when she was 3 yrs old. I found the fod map diet has been soo helpful. Its just really hard when a child is soo young to come up with smacks for her

Danielle Michal said...

Hi Colleayn, I'm in a similar diet situation with FM, wheat free and dairy free and even though its not always too fun, I'd rather feel good and be creative with what I am able to enjoy.
I've just started my own blog with creative snacks and recipes:

good luck,


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