We often hear and read that honey is supposed to be very healthy. Every time I hear this statement, I think of my client ”Sindre” who ended up in hospital five times for acute care because of stomach ache after having eaten honey with the slices of bread.
When I first met ”Sindre” and his parents, he was a little boy of 4. He struggled with itching and unrest caused by atopic eczema and his parents were exhausted after years with lack of sleep. They had travelled far in order to get help, and it felt good to be able to fulfill their expectations so that this young family could get an improved every day life. You will be hearing more of this story in connection with future posts to the blog with regard to atopics.
The story is anonymised
When ”Sindre” four years later had struggled with stomach aches and digestion issues for a while, they contacted me and we met at the clinic. It was great to meet each other again. It was particularly nice to see how ”Sindre” had grown and the positive attitude he displayed. A heritage from his parents, I assumed. The tired looks in their faces when I first met them were gone. They practically gleamed with determination and optimism – the parents were again ready to do what it takes to make the boy healthy. And this time ”Sindre” himself was so grown that he could play a greater part in his own team.
They told me that ”Sindre” at times had great stomach pains. When these attacks ocurred, it was difficult for him to straighten up and very difficult to walk. During these attacks ”Sindre” would just lie down curled in a ”fetal position”. 5 times had the pains been so strong that the parents had taken him to the emergency department, and each time he was hospitalised. The examinations gave no answers to what could cause these attacks and the parents had no idea what to do.
Their answers to my questions seemed to indicate a clear picture that ”Sindre” either suffered from fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance. The symptoms are identical and always include issues with regard to flatulence. Wether the air gets out or remains inside the large intestine, varies from person to person. The pains ”Sindre” described are typical when there are much air in the large intestine or colon organ. It may cause great pains in the whole belly area, particularly in the upper left part. When we together carried out our research to find the cause of the attacks that put ”Sindre” into hospital, we found ”the sinner”.
When we went through the diet, it occurred to us that ”Sindre” sometimes had bread with honey. When I heard this, I became quite certain that we had solved the case. Honey is extremely rich on fructose and therefore exposes those who suffer from fructose malabsorption with flatulence and strong stomach pains as a consequence. The amount of fructose that 2 slices of bread with honey represent, is guaranteed much more fructose than a fructose sensitive digestive system is capable to absorb. As a consequence, fructose enters the large intestine or colon organ where it is broken down by bacteria, and as a biproduct of this process huge amounts of gases are produced.
The busy family went home with optimism and with a plan to find out if fructose surely was the problem. Shortly afterwards the conclusion was clear. Fructose was definitely ”the sinner” while lactose was ok for ”Sindre”. In addition, they once took the chance to test honey. ”Sindre´s” stomach swelled, caused by all the air and became big and hard. Thus there were no doubts what caused the young boy´s troubles. They got help with rearranging the diet without making more changes than necessary. The way I knew them, I was certain that they would find practical solutions and keep their positive attitude towards food..
As I have posted earlier in ”Is This Healthy, Trine”, ”healthy” and ”unhealthy” are concepts that tell me very little. With regard to honey, which is mentioned here, this type of food contains many fine nutritions which the body can make use of, so honey is ”healthy”. Honey contains also much fructose, which makes many people ill – like ”Sindre”. Then honey is not so healthy anymore. Unless one suffers from fructose malabsorption there is no reason to avoid honey. On the other hand, if one wants to reduce the amount of fast carbohydrates in the diet, for instance as a result of Diabetes type 2, then honey is very rich on carbohydrates and not so ”healthy”. In this way we could go on eternally to discuss the concepts ”healthy” and ”unhealthy”.
To consider a type of food without regarding who will eat it and what effect is wanted, has no purpose, the way I see it. We are put together differently and tolerate food differently, also honey. However, the body knows to give signals if something is not tolerated very well. If there are symptoms, there have to be causes. If there are no symptoms, all is well.
If we follow our own way – we are heading in the right direction!
”Sindre” and his parents wish you happy days
…and good health
Trine Dahlmo – Healthinspirer– NLP Coach Team AS