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Why does your child have a mysterious tummy ache?
 
Here's a common scenario: a young child complains of a tummy ache. But he or she has no fever or other symptoms. So the doctor says there's nothing wrong with the youngster other than maybe a little gas. However, a new study may have a simple explanation for all those mysterious tummy aches many children swear they have. The culprit? Intolerance to fructose.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet contains processed foods and soft drinks that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, so countless kids are exposed daily to the stuff. And it turns out fructose intolerance, also called fructose malabsorption, is common in children with recurrent or functional abdominal pain.
Researchers investigated a total of 245 children between the ages of 2 and 18 with unexplained chronic abdominal pain alone or associated with constipation, gas or bloating and/or diarrhea. A breath hydrogen test (BHT), which is a marker for fructose intolerance, was performed in all patients in the study. The BHT was found to be positive in 132 of 245 patients – a whopping 54 percent.
All of the 132 patients with a positive BHT for fructose were placed on a low fructose diet and close to 70 percent had a resolution of their stomach pain when they stayed away from fructose.
"With the widespread use of high fructose corn syrup, it is difficult to avoid, so the challenge is finding those foods with low fructose and still maintain a healthy nutritional balance that patients will adhere to, especially teenagers," Dr. Lustig said in a press statement. "But the good news is that over half of patients who are fructose intolerant and are able to maintain a low fructose diet will notice an immediate improvement in their symptoms."
 
Dr. Iverson's Comment
Many of our patients and newsletter readers are aware of the multiple health problems associated with fructose, so this may just add more fuel to the fire. I felt this article was important to share with parents because of the widespread use of FRUIT JUICE with children. 
In my book, Nature’s Diet, I talk about fruit as not being a health food—you will be amazed at what you learn when you read that chapter. Typically kids are drawn to sweet and because parents think that fruit is healthy, then fruit juice must be okay, right? WRONG!  Fruit juice is the biggest cause of dental decay in the children I see as well as setting them up for sugar addiction as they age. Fruit and fruit juice (as well as soda and other substances made with fructose) are high enough in calories that they suppress appetite. By the time real food comes around the child picks at their plate—they aren’t hungry anymore. Sound familiar? Therefore their nutrition is predominantly sugar as opposed to protein and minerals from vegetables.
For children, the most important food changes you can make in their diet is:
1) Remove the excess sources of sugar
 2) Remove the sources of chemicals in prepared foods (artificial colors and flavors). 
You will be quite impressed how it affects their mood, sleep, disposition, and overall vitality.
Be well~
Andrew Iverson 
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