We often don’t recognize the symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance and we can even misdiagnose them as signs of other problems. This condition occurs when the body cannot effectively digest starchy or high-sugar foods, such as processed sweets, some fruits, and milk. And it turns out that this is relatively common, especially in children, and can cause a lot of discomforts.
While that may sound a bit dramatic, it is a pretty common reaction. “When you consume sugar, blood sugar levels in the body increase, which leads to the release of insulin from the pancreas,” Kimberly Hershenson, LCSW, a NYC-therapist specializing in eating disorders, tells Bustle. “People get a burst of energy and feel good momentarily, however blood sugar levels rapidly decrease.” This is what’s known as a “crash,” and it can leave you feeling bad.
Apart from affecting with your blood sugar levels, a diet high in sugar can also lead to inflammation, and may even mess with your hormones. Keep in mind, though, that not all sugars are created equal. “Most human beings are ‘sensitive’ to simple sugars because they hit the bloodstream so quickly,” Amanda L. Dale, M.Ed., M.A., a personal trainer and nutritionist, tells Bustle. This is why you might feel sick or crave more sugar after eating chocolate or drinking a sugary coffee, but not necessarily after eating a piece of fruit.
If you suspect your current eating habits might be negatively impacting your health, then you might want to consider limiting your sugar intake, or consulting with your doctor on how much sugar is a good amount for you. Read on for some symptoms to watch out for, according to experts.
1. You have stomach cramps.
As in many cases where your body has problems with digestion, one of the first signs that you have an intolerance to sugar is stomach cramps. Even though fruits and vegetables are healthy and we need to eat them to keep a balanced diet, some of them can be high in carbs and starch, therefore, disrupting your digestion. Among them are corn, sweet potatoes, quinoa, bananas, oats, apples, and mangoes.
Of course, just cramps alone don’t indicate that you can’t digest carbohydrates or sugars in particular. This problem is usually followed by more symptoms.
2. You start feeling nauseous.
In addition to cramps, nausea and dizziness can be another indicator. Other foods that often contain hidden sugars are processed sweet treats, salty snacks like chips or nuts, salad dressings, dips, pasta sauces, and instant oats. To be on the safe side, always check the ingredients that are listed on the packaging to avoid unwanted digestion disruptions.
3. Your belly becomes bloated.
Cramps and nausea are often followed by another intolerance indicator known as bloating. Even though it’s very common to feel swollen in your abdomen after eating several types of foods or big meals, you need to watch out for sugars in particular. Sweeteners are other products that can hide sugars. Among them are agave and corn syrups, molasses, brown sugar, and even honey.
4. You get gassy.
Eating too fast and swallowing a lot of air during the process might cause you to get gassy too. If you also feel the need to burp, this can be a sign of a disruptive eating habit. However, if flatulence comes in combination with the previously listed symptoms, this might be a sign that you should pay more attention to the foods you eat.
Products that contain lactose (sugars in milk) can be other potential digestion disruptors that can give your body troubles and cause excessive gas.
5. You find yourself craving more sweets.
One more indicator, that might even feel confusing, is particular cravings. People with an intolerance to carbohydrates might crave them more than regular people. However, there might be other reasons for your desire for something sweet. Among them are changes in hormones or a lack of particular nutrients in your body.
6. You feel sleepy after eating.
If you feel like you want to take a nap after eating a meal full of carbs, this might be another warning sign that your body doesn’t handle carbohydrates well. On top of that, this may be combined with symptoms like weakness, fatigue, mood changes, or even headaches.
7. You feel very anxious.
In general, consuming a lot of products high in sugar can be linked to feeling stressed out. However, you may start feeling anxious even if you eat just a little bit of it as your body has problems digesting it.
How To Test If You Have Sucrose Intolerance
Anyone can take this simple test at home. First, you will need to dissolve 4 tablespoons of white sugar in 4 ounces of water and drink the mixture on an empty stomach.
If symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea appear after 4 hours, this can be a sign of sugar intolerance.
However, since the signs can be severe and unpleasant, it is always highly recommended to consult your doctor first before performing the test.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms after eating a sweet or your favorite fruit?