Millions of Americans enjoy fruit daily, but for some, eating certain fruits or drinking fruit juice can cause stomach cramps and other unpleasant symptoms. Stomach cramping may be a sign of a chronic medical condition that needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Stomach cramping is not a normal reaction to drinking fruit juice and may be related to an allergic reaction, fructose intolerance or other gastrointestinal diseases. Document what kind of juice you drink and how it affects your body. Share your findings with your doctor to help diagnose your condition.
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Certain fruits are more likely to cause an allergic reaction. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the most common fruits that can trigger an allergic reaction include tropical fruits, melons, pineapples, strawberries and tomatoes. An allergic reaction will not only cause stomach cramps but can affect other areas of your body. You may develop shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, diarrhea, skin rashes, itching, sinus congestion and facial swelling. If you’re allergic to any fruits, you are at risk of developing anaphylaxis from eating them or drinking the juice.
If the cramping is caused by an allergic reaction, your immune system has overreacted and caused inflammation in your stomach and intestines. The body produces immunoglobulin E antibodies, which trigger mast cells to create histamine. Histamine released in the soft tissue of the digestive tract makes the tissues swell, leading to cramping and excessive pressure.
Fructose intolerance is the inability to digest certain sugars, such as fructose and sucrose. Fructose is primarily found naturally in fruit and can cause stomach cramping, pain, nausea and diarrhea. Fructose intolerance is a hereditary condition that can lead to chronic health complications, such as liver disease and death if not treated. If you’re diagnosed with fructose intolerance, you need to eliminate all fruits and fruits juice from your diet. Drinking fruit juice with this condition can cause long-term damage.
Certain gastrointestinal conditions can lead to cramping from drinking fruit juice. The acid in many fruit juices can aggravate the lining of your stomach if you have peptic ulcers, which are open sores in your stomach or intestines. Some people with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, develop digestive symptoms after eating or drinking certain fruits.