Grape allergy or fructose intolerance?
Grapes are naturally sweet and provide valuable fiber, micronutrients and secondary plant substances . For many, however, they also have a downside: they cause diarrhea or other digestive problems.
Often, diarrhea caused by grapes is absolutely harmless: grapes stimulate digestion and can have a laxative effect . This may be noticeable in stool that is slightly more fluid. However , if you have diarrhea on a regular basis when you consume grapes, grape juice, raisins, grape seed oil, wine vinegar or even wine, it is more likely that you suffer from fructose intolerance or intolerance or – in rarer cases – from a grape allergy .
How to recognize a grape allergy
Symptoms of a grape allergy can affect the entire body and for example
- in the airways (allergic runny nose, sneezing, shortness of breath),
- on skin and mucous membranes (itching, wheals, eczema) or
- express in the digestive tract (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
At a grape allergy also are cross allergies possible: So you might react to a number of other foods or allergic to pollen, because they contain similar proteins such as grapes.
Severe allergies can even cause life-threatening conditions . Therefore, if you suspect an allergy, you should always consult a doctor who can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the right treatment.
How to recognize a fructose intolerance
Grapes are high in fructose (also known as fruit sugar). Some symptoms of fructose intolerance or intolerance are similar to those of an allergy. These include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In general, intolerance is particularly noticeable in the gastrointestinal tract. You may then also suffer
- Stomach pain,
- Gas formation.
These complaints arise when the small intestine cannot properly break down fructose , so that it migrates undigested into the large intestine, where it is broken down by intestinal bacteria through fermentation processes .
By the way, grapes also contain sorbitol , which can also lead to intolerance reactions such as diarrhea and other digestive problems. Although the sorbitol content of grapes is not as high as, for example, pears , it can still cause discomfort on an empty stomach.
Clarify the causes of diarrhea caused by grapes
If you frequently get diarrhea after eating grapes, you should seek medical advice. He can determine if an allergy is present with a skin test or blood test . A fructose intolerance can be diagnosed with a breath test : You drink a solution containing fructose. Then the air you breathe is used to measure at regular intervals whether your body has been able to break down the fructose.
A food diary also helps to track down the triggers for your symptoms. For a few weeks, write down exactly what you ate and when, what symptoms occurred and whether there were any other abnormalities.
How do I deal with grape allergies and fructose intolerance?
If you have a grape allergy, you should first completely avoid grapes and all foods that contain grapes. These include, for example:
- Grape juice
- Grapeseed oil
- Wine vinegar
Grapes are also hidden in many processed foods, for example in muesli, fruit bars, jellies and juices . Here it is important to look carefully at the list of ingredients.
Due to possible cross allergies, you may need to avoid a number of other foods. This can include, for example, berries, tomatoes, dried or fresh dates and many more. In addition, pollen (especially birch and grass pollen) often trigger a cross-reaction in people who are allergic to grapes.
It is best to have your doctor test you for cross allergies. They can also recommend which antiallergic drugs are most effective in relieving your allergy symptoms:
- With oral antihistamines you get symptoms such as allergic rhinitis, sneezing and swelling in the handle.
- There are ointments for eczema and itching , most of which contain cortisone. In more severe cases, the doctor will also prescribe medicines containing cortisone for oral use.
- Epinephrine is an emergency medication that is used in case of allergic shock.
Antiallergic drugs are not a cure, they just alleviate allergy symptoms. In the long term, desensitization may help allergy sufferers . The body is repeatedly exposed to the allergen under the supervision of a doctor in order to reduce its sensitivity.
Avoid diarrhea from grapes if you are fructose intolerant
If you are intolerant to fructose, the level of suffering can vary from person to person. Some people can still consume low-fructose foods . Fruits and vegetables that contain glucose (also known as grape sugar) in addition to fructose are often well tolerated because glucose promotes the absorption of fructose in the body . Fruits and vegetables that contain at least as much glucose as fructose are ideal, for example bananas, grapefruit, honeydew melon, cherries and litchis.
Grapes also contain more glucose than fructose , which is why some people with fructose intolerance can eat them without developing symptoms such as diarrhea.
To relieve or prevent diarrhea from grapes, you can also occasionally resort to preparations that contain xylose isomerase . This enzyme converts fructose into glucose.
In the long term, a three-phase treatment may reduce problems caused by fructose: In the first phase, you avoid foods containing fructose. After a few weeks, reintroduce fructose and see how much of it you can tolerate. You may be able to permanently integrate some fructose-containing foods into your menu in phase 3.
How you can eat a tasty and balanced diet despite fructose intolerance , we have summarized for you in the article How fruit becomes a pleasure again .
Grape diarrhea: these may be the causes
If you have frequent grape diarrhea, causes such as an allergy or intolerance may be an option. If you have a grape allergy, you should avoid grapes and all foods that contain grapes, as allergic reactions can be life-threatening .
The symptoms of intolerance , on the other hand, are less serious, but can be bothersome and painful. You may not have to go completely without fructose , but can tolerate some foods that contain fructose, such as grapes. Otherwise, a three-phase treatment may help you to reintegrate fructose into your everyday life.