Fructose malabsorption is a digestive disorder in which fructose (a single molecule of sugar known as the "fruit sugar") is not properly absorbed in the small intestine and thus progresses into the colon, where the resident bacteria (both good and bad) digest it and produce hydrogen or methane gas, short chain fatty acids, lactic acid, carbon dioxide and attract excess water via osmosis. This all leads to bloating, gas, cramps, abdominal pain and altered bowel movements. Symptoms don't stop at IBS type digestive distress, however, as malabsorptive disorders commonly affect the body's ability to take in important nutrients and excess fructose can decrease plasma tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is involved with both serotonin and melatonin production, thus a deficit will negatively affect mood and energy levels. A whole host of apparently unlinked symptoms can and do resolve themselves when the proper diet is utilised. The low FODMAP diet, currently being researched at Monash University in Australia, has been researched and evidence suggests that it can control IBS in around 75% of IBS sufferers. It does so by limiting the intake of fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs - fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyols), thus starving the gut flora of the foods required to create all the gas and fatty acids. The idea is to reduce FODMAP intake for around 6-8 weeks, until symptoms subside and your gut settles, before testing individual FODMAP groups for reactions, preferably under the supervision of a dietitian/nutritionist etc. After moving to the US in 2011 and struggling with the realization that high fructose corn syrup is in everything (HFCS and agave syrup are just about the two worst things for fructose malabsorbers), my husband and I began to cook everything from scratch. After a while, he suggested that I start the blog and the name, Not From A Packet Mix, seemed appropriate. It's just gone from there and I've found a hobby that I love - an excuse to eat good food and write about it! Check out some of my favorite low-FODMAP recipes! Strawberry Coconut Chia Pudding Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto Pumpkin Pie with Gingerbread Crust To learn more about Nataliya check out her website at www.notfromapacketmix.com Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.