Food has been responsible for triggering diarrhea in most cases. An individual suffering diarrhea usually passes up to three watery stools in a single day and profuse diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is considered dangerous among children and the elderly. In a span of 1-2 days, diarrhea typically resolves on its own. If the diarrhea persists, it should be assessed by a doctor. The usual causes of diarrhea include contamination, hot spices, high fiber, allergies or intolerance as well as abrupt dietary changes.
Foods that are contaminated
Poor sanitation and storage can lead to the contamination of food products. This form of diarrhea typically occurs 2-4 hours after consumption. Dairy and mayonnaise products require constant refrigeration in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Oysters and raw fish also have high contamination rates as well as incorrectly washed raw fruits. Unpasteurized juices as well as milk also have high incidence for causing diarrhea. Additionally, undercooked eggs and meat can also cause problems. Proper cooking, washing and sanitation can prevent diarrhea triggered by food contamination.
Increasing the fiber in the diet is considered as a healthy objective. The fiber must be slowly added to the diet in small amounts. Excessive fiber taken in quickly can lead to excess gas and diarrhea. When managing diarrhea, it is important to reduce the intake of high-fiber food. The individual should also include high-fiber vegetables and fruits such as apples, pears, broccoli, berries, cabbage and peas. Even seeds and beans should also be reduced. Once the diarrhea resolved, the individual can increase the intake of fiber steadily over 6-8 weeks.
Spicy foods can cause diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. Take note that foods made with hot pepper can cause most of these issues. Capsaicin which is the chemical present in chili pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper makes them hot. The chemical is so strong that it has been used in insect and animal repellants.
Due to the direct effect of these spices on the cells of the intestinal lining, it affects the absorption in the intestines, thus leading to diarrhea. The individual should try to avoid Mexican and Indian food if he/she is prone to diarrhea.
Food allergy is triggered by reactions to a specific food protein. It is important to note that the system functions in order to eliminate the food allergen from the body through diarrhea and vomiting along with other symptoms. Most cases of food allergies are triggered by peanuts, shellfish, eggs and fish. Children are prone to food allergies than the adults but they can outgrow them as they become older. If you want to learn more about allergies, read here.
Abrupt changes in the diet
Another cause of food-induced diarrhea is an abrupt change in the diet. If the individual consumes a large meal of fatty, rich foods, these will overwhelm the intestines. The excess fats in butter and oil stay unabsorbed in the intestines and trigger the intestinal cells to excrete more water. The increased amount of intestinal water along with the undigested fats will lead to diarrhea. Additionally, large amounts of meat can be difficult to digest and often instigate diarrhea. Diet changes must be done at a steady manner so that the body is allowed to adjust to the new foods.