Is Your Diet Giving You Diarrhea?

Is Your Diet Giving You Diarrhea?

As we age, our digestive systems may become more sensitive to several types of foods and food preparation methods. Though you may have handled the hottest foods without sweating, now that super hot chicken curry provides you the digestive drama known as diarrhea: unformed, uncomfortable, and watery stools. Sometimes, diarrhea occurs due to an underlying condition or as a side effect of a medication. However, diet is usually the cause.

Triggers of Diarrhea

  1. Sugar

Sugars stimulate the intestine to eliminate water and electrolytes, which loosens bowel movements. If you ingest a large amount of sugar, you may increase diarrhea. One of the main offenders is fructose that is found naturally in fruits or added to foods and beverages, such as applesauce, soda, and juice drinks. “75% of people who ingest more than 40- 80 grams of fructose daily will have diarrhea,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Norton Greenberger (professor at Harvard Medical School). Another criminal: artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol found in gums, sweets and sugar-free medicines.

  1. Dairy Products

Dairy foods contain lactose, which some people have difficulty digesting. Be careful with cheese, milk and ice cream, among many other products.

  1. FODMAPs

Fructose, lactose and artificial sweeteners are part of a group of badly digested sugars that can cause diarrhea, known as FODMAP (fermentable disaccharides, oligosaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). Other sources of FODMAP include wheat, rye, garlic, onion, legumes, cashews, honey, pistachios, artichokes, and asparagus.

  1. Gluten

Gluten is a protein discovered in wheat, rye, barley, beer and even in salad dressings. People sensitive to gluten may have difficulty digesting gluten and have diarrhea for that reason. Ingestion of gluten causes the body to attack the lining of the small intestine in people with celiac disease, which can cause serious damage.

Is Your Diet Giving You Diarrhea?

  1. Fried or Fatty Foods

Some people have difficulty digesting creamy or fried foods. When fatty foods are not absorbed generally, they go to the colon, where they break down into fatty acids, which causes the colon to secrete fluid and cause diarrhea,”. Click here for more about what causes diarrhea.

  1. Spicy Food

Spicy sauces can mask a high-fat content, particularly in Tex-Mex or curry dishes. And there is this unpleasant side effect: If you eat a lot of spicy foods, you can get burning in the rectum.

  1. Caffeine

Caffeine accelerates the digestive system. It is found in chocolate, tea, coffee, many soft drinks and foods flavored with chocolate or coffee.

Get Help

Chronic diarrhea can interfere with your life. Even if it’s not serious, its randomness and urgency can make you reluctant to socialize. And several people hesitate to call the doctor’s attention to the problem for the reason that they think it is not serious or because it is embarrassing. Dr. Porton Greenberger recommends that anybody with chronic diarrhea contact a doctor or a physician, especially if there are other warning signs, for example, lack of appetite or weight loss. The causes and cures for chronic diarrhea are complicated. “Do not try to solve it on your own.” See symptoms of diarrhea on

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Ralph Tyler

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