Diarrhea is a fairly common reaction to foods, but it’s not certain if it can be caused by certain foods.
The main issue is that food has a very small concentration of chemicals, so it’s unlikely a specific food will cause diarrhea.
However, if you have a known food sensitivity, you should talk to your doctor.
What can cause diarrhea after I’ve eaten?
Foods that can cause diarrhea after you’ve eaten include the following:
- Alcohol. Alcohol can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
- Coffee. The caffeine found in coffee can cause diarrhea.
- Dairy products. Dairy products can cause dehydration and diarrhea.
- Dairy alternatives. Some people react to lactose or casein found in milk and cheese.
- Fruits. Fruits can cause diarrhea if they’re high in fiber or fructose and cause gas.
- High-fiber foods. This includes some vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
- High-fiber supplements. These include psyllium and methylcellulose.
- Milk and milk-based products. These can cause diarrhea if the lactose they contain is not well digested.
- Non-dairy products. Some non-dairy products can cause diarrhea if they contain lactose or non-digestible fructose.
- Non-dairy alternatives. These include soy milk and rice milk.
- Soy. Soy contains isoflavones, which can cause diarrhea.
Other things that can cause diarrhea include:
- Certain medications. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Some herbal supplements. These include ginkgo biloba and St. John’s wort.
- Some foods. These include chocolate, soy, and some fruits.
How long will the diarrhea last?
The time it takes to recover from diarrhea depends on the cause of the diarrhea.
Common causes of diarrhea include:
- Food sensitivity
- Bacterial infection
- Food poisoning
- Food intolerance
Dehydration and a low-protein diet can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause diarrhea.
Dehydration and a low-protein diet can lead to diarrhea.
Bacterial infections can also cause diarrhea. The bacteria can spread to your digestive tract and the rest of your body.
Food poisoning is a concern for people with weakened immune systems, especially infants and young children. Food poisoning can also cause diarrhea.
Food intolerance is the most common food-related cause of diarrhea. Food intolerance causes digestive distress and a rash.
Food intolerance can also cause diarrhea.
Food intolerance can cause diarrhea.
Food poisoning is the most common cause of diarrhea in children.
Food poisoning causes diarrhea.
How will I know if I have another cause for diarrhea?
Your doctor will look at your health history and the results of any tests to determine the cause of your diarrhea.
If there’s an underlying condition, your doctor will treat it and treat the diarrhea.
If there’s not an underlying condition, your doctor will treat the diarrhea and check for complications.
What if my diarrhea is severe?
Severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration. You should drink fluids until your symptoms improve.
Dehydration can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Irregular or painful urination
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Dry skin
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Dehydration is the most common cause of diarrhea. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger
What is the treatment for diarrhea?
The main treatments for diarrhea include:
- Antibiotics. If your diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics.
- Antidiarrheal medications. These work to control the number of times you pass stool.
- Dehydration. Drink fluids to replenish fluids lost from diarrhea.
- Antipyretics. These are medication that reduces the size of your body’s cells.
- Laxative medications. These help increase the amount of water you pass through your intestines.
- Antidepressants. These can help with depression and anxiety that can occur after a bout of diarrhea.
When to see a doctor?
If your diarrhea is severe, your doctor may want to run more tests. If your diarrhea persists for more than a week, see your doctor.
See your doctor right away if you have diarrhea that is:
- Very frequent
How do I care for myself after I’ve had diarrhea?
After you’ve had diarrhea, it’s important to rest and drink enough fluids to replenish what you’ve lost.
However, you should not:
- Continue to eat or drink after your stomach is empty.
- Stop taking any medications unless your doctor tells you to.
- Drink alcohol.
- Eat raw fruits or vegetables.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber.
- Eat foods that are high in lactose (milk-based products).
- Eat foods that are high in non-digestible fructose.
Talk with your doctor or dietitian about what you should do to keep your diarrhea at an acceptable level.
What is my next step?
The first step is to rest. The second step is to drink fluids to replenish what you’ve lost.
Next, talk with your doctor about what you should do to keep your diarrhea at an acceptable level. They can help you understand what steps are right for you.
What is the long-term outlook?
It’s important to manage your diarrhea. This will help prevent complications, such as dehydration.
You should drink fluids to help replenish fluids lost from diarrhea. If you’re dehydrated, you may experience symptoms such as:
Be sure to check with your doctor before you start drinking fluids.
You should also talk with your doctor if your diarrhea is severe. In some cases, you may need to be hospitalized so that your blood sugar and electrolytes can be monitored.
What’s the outlook?
The outlook for people with diarrhea depends on the cause of the diarrhea.
Diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection can be treated. In most cases, diarrhea caused by food poisoning will clear up in 1 to 2 days.
If your diarrhea is caused by a virus or a parasite, you can help prevent some complications.
Diarrhea can also be caused by cancer, medication side effects, or irritable bowel syndrome. In some cases, it can be a symptom of other diseases.
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