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Is high-fructose corn syrup causing your tummy troubles?

By Nicci Micco, June 24, 2009 - 4:36am

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Nicci asks: How does high-fructose corn syrup affect you?


All I know is that when I eat anything with HFCS I become very ill. I am able to eat table sugar with no problem. I can eat small amounts of fruit. But within 30 minutes of consuming HFCS I get severe gastric distress. I don't care what the research shows, I KNOW what happens to me, so I leave that nasty stuff alone.


07/05/2012 - 10:29am

I suffer from IBS and diverticulitis.I am sure that HFCS gives me pain in my bowel.When I eat gluten free foods I feel much better but if I take food which has glucose- fructose syrup in my diet the pain returns, even though all foods consumed were gluten free.Normal sugar or honey in moderation seems to be OK.
Isobel from Scotland


12/26/2012 - 1:55am

While I have read multiple statements by scientists and physicians stating that HFCS is no different in physiological impact than table sugar, empirical evidence in my case says that this is not true.

Having developed what I later determined was IBS in my mid-30s, it quickly grew to debilitating levels. Episodes would begin soon after meals, followed by hours of excruciating abdominal pain. Only after traveling to South America for extended business trips did I discover the key. Finding that these visits REDUCED my symptoms, I began comparing diets, even switching my USA diet to match the exact type of foods I was eating when there.

I found, unfortunately that this still didn't work. Within a few days of reaching South America my symptoms would disappear. Returning to the US they returned within days.

So I began comparing ingredients, and discovered that the syrups, sodas, ice creams, pie fillings, and other foods in South America DID NOT use HFCS while the same foods in the USA did.

Armed with that, I sought out and eliminated HFCS in my USA diet. I switched to pure maple syrup, Breyer's ice cream (made with sugar), real chocolate sauce (made with sugar), and sugar-sweetened sodas. I DID NOT reduce the overall amount of the sugar I was consuming, I just switched from HFCS sweeteners to table sugar.

One doctor I spoke with suggested that either it's not as simple physiologically as they think, or the HFCS is contaminated with something (possibly GMO nicotinoids) that are causing the symptoms.


02/07/2013 - 5:37pm

I do have IBS and have found that HFCS does irritate my gut, as does all the "sugar alcohols", those non-nutritive sweeteners that are neither sugar or alcohol. I read the labels on everything from bread, to ketchup, to juice, and everything in between. It's everywhere. The only way to have a pain-free day is to be vigilant about what you eat.


06/18/2013 - 3:46pm

I began having IBS symptoms such as severe cramping and diarrhea following meals back in the 1990's, somewhat coinciding with the switch to HFCS in soft drinks. I continued to suffer off and on for 15 years until I educated myself on the link between HFCS and IBS and proceeded to eliminate all HFCS from my diet. IBS symptoms vanished, never to return. So, I don't care about the glucose to fructose ratio being the same as cane sugar, my GI tract knows the difference.


07/16/2013 - 4:43pm

I suffered with IBS for years with it being so debilitating that I was really unable to work. Who wants to pay someone who stays in the bathroom a lot of the day? When I stopped drinking soft drinks, my life changed. I was able to work, I felt I was leading a normal life. Now, I rarely eat sweets, I eat fruit and I don't have problems. Very thankful.


07/27/2013 - 2:38pm

For all of my life I drank regular Coke and never had any problems. Then around 1985 I noticed my stomach would hurt after drinking sodas. I switched to diet Coke and my stomach problems went away. I always thought that my body was changing and couldn't take regular Coke anymore. Then a few years ago I read that in the mid 1980's, all of the fast food restaurants soda switched from sugar to HFCS. This was the missing piece of information. I finally realized that it was the HFCS that cause my stomach pains.


11/15/2013 - 1:13am

Every time I eat any type of pancake and waffle syrup I become nauseated and gassy. No other foods bother me like this. I eat a lot of sweets and a lot of breads and donuts but its only when the syrup is involved I become intolerable to be within 100 feet of!


01/25/2014 - 9:23pm

I have an almost instantaneous response to this horrible ingredient: gas diarrhrea leaking feces. For me, this stuff is POISON and should be banned from everything, from cough syrup to soft drinks to cold medicine to juice. Any member of the U.S. Congress who supports this garbage should be tossed out of office,


03/05/2015 - 3:21am

I consume it, i live on the toilet! It's that simple. It took me over 15 years and at least 6 different Dr's to figure out my so called IBS ! and it was i, not the Dr.'s, that figured it out ! If i even eat a small amount of corn syrup , the next couple days of my life are a right -off . The only soda pop i can drink is pepsi made with "real " sugar ! If pepsi stops makeing it, then my pop consumeing days are over. I encourage anyone with IBS to just try not consumeing corn syrup,and see if it helps. In my case i'd say i had an improvement of at least 90%!....I got most of my life back ! Peter


03/22/2015 - 9:38pm

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