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Children's Health

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Fructose Intolerance, Hereditary

It is possible that the main title of the report Fructose Intolerance, Hereditary is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

There are three inherited disorders of fructose metabolism that are recognized and characterized. Essential fructosuria, is a mild disorder not requiring treatment, while Hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) and Hereditary fructose-1,6-biphosphatase deficiency (HFBP) are treatable and controllable but must be taken seriously.

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is an inherited inability to digest fructose (fruit sugar) or its precursors (sugar, sorbitol and brown sugar). This is due to a deficiency of activity of the enzyme fructose-1-phosphate aldolase, resulting in an accumulation of fructose-1-phosphate in the liver, kidney, and small intestine. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar that is used as a sweetener in many foods, including many baby foods. This disorder can be life threatening in infants and ranges from mild to severe in older children and adults.

People who have HFI usually develop a strong dislike for sweets and fruit. After eating foods containing fructose, they may experience such symptoms as severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Early diagnosis is important because, while most people who have HFI can lead normal lives if they adopt a fructose-free diet. If left untreated however, the condition can lead to permanent physical harm, including especially, serious liver and kidney damage.


NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
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Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 7/8/2007
Copyright 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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