Lactose intolerance means that your body does not have the enzymes to break down certain sugars in dairy.
Photo: Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels
Diarrhea is a common problem. This condition can have different causes, it is not always infections, but also allergies and food intolerances, digestive tract problems, abdominal surgery and prolonged use of medications.
Sometimes a food that you used to eat without any problems can now trigger diarrhea. This happens because As we age, the digestive system can become more sensitive to certain types of food and methods of preparing them.
Here are 7 foods that can give you diarrhea:
1. Dairy products
If you have diarrhea after drinking milk or eating dairy products like cheese and ice cream, you may have lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance means that your body does not have the enzymes to break down certain sugars in dairy. This intolerance tends to run in families and can develop later in life.
Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of aged or low-lactose dairy products. Like yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses.
2. Sugar and substitutes
If you eat a lot of sugar you can have diarrhea since the sugars stimulate the intestine to expel water and electrolytes, which loosens the stools.Some examples of foods high in fructose are: apple juice, grapes, agave, and soda.
“Seventy-five percent of people who eat more than 40 to 80 grams of fructose per day will have diarrhea“, notes gastroenterologist Dr. Norton Greenberger, professor at Harvard Medical School.
Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol can also cause diarrhea in some people. Sugar-free candies and gum often include these sugar alcohols.
3. Spicy food
In some people who have a sensitive gut, spicy food can cause diarrhea. As capsaicin (a substance that makes chili peppers itchy) irritates the small intestine, moves faster than normal, and reaches the colon as a defense, it speeds up the entire process.
“The body’s reaction to spicy foods is completely normal and it’s simply a sign that your body is working hard to protect it from any perceived harm, ”explains the gastroenterólogo Kenneth Brown.
4. Fried or fatty foods
Fatty, greasy, or fried foods contain saturated fat and trans fat. These foods are hard for the body to digest, so they can cause diarrhea or make symptoms worse.
“When fatty foods are not absorbed normally, they go to the colon, where they are broken down into fatty acids, causing the colon to secrete fluid and cause diarrhea,” says Dr. Greenberger.
Caffeine stimulates your digestive system and can speed up the rate at which food moves through the intestines. In some people, drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee or tea a day can often cause diarrhea.
In addition to coffee and tea, caffeine is found in chocolate, cola, and other beverages such as yerba mate tea and guayusa tea.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, beer, and even salad dressings. Gluten intolerant people commonly experience diarrhea or constipation. Celiac disease is the most serious form of gluten intolerance.
In people with celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes the body to attack the lining of the small intestine, which can cause serious damage.
Fructose, artificial sweeteners, and lactose are part of a group of sugars known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). Foods high in FODMAP are difficult for some people to digest and can cause diarrhea.
Some high-FODMAPO foods include wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes, honey, pistachios, cashews, asparagus, and artichokes.
A food diary can help you identify the foods and drinks that seem to trigger diarrhea. Also see a doctor to be sure if the condition is related to a food intolerance or digestive system disorder.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.