Common Causes of Diarrhea After Eating

Diarrhea is a type of bowel movement that can be defined as watery and loose. It is a common ailment and is not typically considered serious. However, when a person has diarrhea after eating it may indicate a potentially serious problem. There are three different types of diarrhea including secretory, osmotic and exudative. When the bowel has something in it that is causing water to be taken from the body into the bowel it is referred to as osmotic diarrhea. When water is being released into the bowel by the body when it should not be it is referred to as secretory diarrhea. When diarrhea is accompanied by pus or blood it is referred to as exudative diarrhea.

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause diarrhea after eating. This condition is experienced by about twenty percent of American’s. It is a condition that affects the colon (large intestine). Though uncomfortable, it does not lead to any permanent damage. In addition to diarrhea after eating its other symptoms often include constipation, cramping, bloating, abdominal pain and bloating. Treating irritable bowel syndrome most often consists of diet and lifestyle changes such as avoiding foods that can cause gas and taking fiber supplements. To help treat the diarrhea after eating, the patient can take an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication.

A gluten allergy can cause diarrhea after eating. It is simply defined as an allergy to gluten. This allergy can be treated by avoiding foods that contain gluten. Gluten-containing foods include wheat, rye, barley, matzo meal, farina, kasha, graham flour, kamut, semolina, bulgar, durham, triticale and spelt. Those with a gluten allergy should also avoid oats, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth as well because they are often contaminated with wheat.

Other foods that may contain gluten should be avoided unless they specifically state that they are gluten free. These include breads, soups, cereals, pies and cakes, croutons, cookies, pasta, gravies, self-basting poultry, sauces, processed lunch meats, salad dressings, imitation seafood or meat, candy and beer. Other items that may have gluten in them include postage stamps, certain food additives, toothpaste, lip balms and lipstick, vitamins and medications that contain gluten as a binding agent and play dough.

A lactose intolerance can cause diarrhea after eating. It is a condition in which a lactose deficiency causes a person’s body to not be able to digest lactose. Lactose in contained in sugar, milk and dairy products. Those who have this disorder will often experience diarrhea and bloating after consuming diary products and other lactose-containing foods. To treat a lactose intolerance a person must avoid lactose-containing products.

Food poisoning can cause diarrhea after eating. Food poisoning is a condition caused by eating foods contaminated with either parasites, viruses or bacteria or their toxins. In addition to diarrhea after eating the other symptoms of food poisoning often include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and fever. Treating food poisoning ultimately depends on the severity of the person’s symptoms and the source of their poisoning. However, in most healthy people rest and plenty of fluids is usually all they need to fully recover.


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